Hot on the heels of recent rumors, UFC President Dana White has confirmed that UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones will indeed defend his title against Alexander Gustafsson this fall. The announcement was made today at the UFC 161 media day. Ariel Helwani tweeted the news this afternoon:
Dana: Jones vs Gustafsson is going down in Toronto in September.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 13, 2013
While Jones was looking for an October return, the event is to take place at UFC 165 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The champion told MMA Fighting about the booking today:
“I was hoping for October, but Dana asked me to do September, so I thought I would be a team player and try to help the UFC out with their scheduling. Having me so close to Toronto, I thought it would make sense for the company, so I took the fight. At the same time, I don’t feel rushed at all, so it worked out for the both of us.”
He also offered his prediction for this weekend’s main event:
“I got Rashad winning. If he gets Henderson on his back, the fight is pretty much over.”
Interestingly enough, Jones makes his first trip back to Toronto since coking out the man who was thought to have the next shot at him in Lyoto Machida. But apparently “The Dragon” didn’t look impressive enough in his controversial split decision victory over Dan Henderson at UFC 157.
Many think that Gustafsson has the best chance to beat Jones at light heavyweight, but even that sentiment has been cooling down as of late, with the majority believing Jones to be nigh-unbeatable. There’s some bad blood brewing between “Bones” and “The Mauler,” let’s see if the bout delivers for Canadian fans this fall.