If there is one fight that remains distinct throughout Jon Jones’ noteworthy career, it would be his title defense against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in 2013. It was a five-rounder that saw Jones in an unlikely vulnerable state at the time, battered and bloodied, and only managing to eke out a razor-thin split decision victory.
The two men are now running it back at UFC 232 at the end of the year. Jones had always attested that his performance against Gustafsson in their first fight was because he did not take it too seriously and was too caught up with his overnight success.
“I was hot, I was on a roll, and I just figured maybe he’s a lot like me but he’s not me,” Jones said during the UFC 232 press conference early this month (via MMA Fighting). “So I didn’t train as hard as I should have. I was winning so many fights and being a wild dude and I was still winning, and it caught up to me. It definitely caught up to me.”
“Excuses. All I hear is excuses. That’s all I hear. Nothing else,” Gustafsson said, interrupting the former champion. “I beat you once, I can beat you again.”
The spat between the two continued with the Swedish fighter still attesting to his belief that he should have been given the winning verdict.
“If my excuse was that I didn’t train hard enough, what’s your excuse for losing?” Jones asked.
“That’s where you’re wrong. I didn’t lose Jon,” Gustafsson said in response. “We all know that I didn’t lose.”
Both fighters will get to resolve this argument on December 29th in Las Vegas.