UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones will look to extend his title defense streak to six against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 165 from Toronto this Saturday.
While the pre-fight hype has been rather tame when compared to the buildup of recent title fights, Gustafsson did come out with some harsh statements about Jones’ behavior, likening him to a “spoiled brat.”
This apparently caught the champ off guard. He met with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani to discuss how the smack talk made ‘Bones’ change his tune when it came to holding back his true feelings about Gustafsson:
“I was really surprised. I don’t think I said anything disrespectful to Alexander leading up to the fight. I actually said things how I liked him, how he had swagger, a lot of different things like that. Maybe with a Swedish site, he figured it wouldn’t get back to us or get back to me, and it did, and it motivated me a lot to just train even harder, study even harder, and to be more honest. Not worry about hurting his feelings or saying something that might be disrespectful. Since that interview’s come out, I’ve been a lot more brutally honest about how I feel about his fighting style, not his personality. Personality-wise, he seems like a great kid, a great young man. As a fighter, I believe that I’m better than him in every way. Spoiled brat? That’s a jealous comment.”
From there, the conversation shifted to Jones’ current status as MMA’s pound-for-pound king, where Helwani compared him to Floyd Mayweather. Jones was humble in response, noting that Silva is still an amazing fighter:
“Well, I don’t know if I become a better fighter because Anderson lost. So, I’m where I’m at, I’m a lot better than where I was for the Chael Sonnen fight. Anderson has done so much. He’s still light years ahead of a lot of people. And I guess we would never know who is the actual better fighter unless me and Anderson fight each other.”
Indeed we will never know unless they fight. If Silva can come back and knock Chris Weidman out at this December’s UFC 168, a superfight with Jones could still be on the table.
But it seems like a fleeting possibility at the moment. Silva already stated that he thinks Jones would defeat him, which would suggest he isn’t all that motivated to fight the young champion. Jones also still has to get past Gustafsson this Saturday, and if he does a bout against Daniel Cormier or Glover Teixeira is likely on the horizon.
We’ll just have to wait and see if the old ‘Spider’ comes back to the cage at UFC 168. If he does, you can bet that Dana White will do everything in his power to book the single biggest fight in MMA history.