As first reported by Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the UFC has booked a title bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. Jones is returning from a 15-month suspension, while Gustafsson is currently ranked as the #1 contender in the light heavyweight division. The event will take place at UFC 232 on December 29th.
The last time these two faced off was at UFC 165 on September 21st, 2013. In result, Jones successfully defended the light heavyweight championship in a contested fight. Five years later, it’s refreshing to witness rumors of a rematch turn into a reality.
As of late, Dana White and company have focused on compiling bouts that the fans wish to see. While it hasn’t always paid off, a story behind Jon Jones coming back (again) and climbing his way to the top (again) benefits the revenue stream of the UFC.
The last time Jones fought was at UFC 214 on July 29th, 2017, where he originally defeated Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title. Later on, the decision was overturned due to a failed drug test from Jones. He was stripped of the title for the third time in his career as a result.
For Alexander Gustafsson, the last time he was in the octagon was against Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 109 on May 28th, 2017. While he has been destined for greater things over the last few months, different paths arose for both Jones and Cormier during that span, limiting Gustafsson’s options.
The UFC needs to get every division moving, and UFC 232 is the best move for the future of the company. The vacant light heavyweight title is on the line, and Daniel Cormier will likely aim to come back to the division after his fight against Derrick Lewis in December.
Photo Credit: MMA Insight