UFC President Dana White let it drop Thursday, that should Jon Jones lose to Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday night that there is no guarantee for Jones, regarding a re-match.
At the UFC 165 pre-fight media scrum, White responded to a question on the subject and in remark stated:
“There is never any automatic rematch clause. We would go by how the fight goes, and if it was the kind of fight that deserves a rematch.”
As we all know, Jones is the youngest and most successful light-heavyweight of all time, capturing the title at the tender age of 23 and tonight’s bout marks his sixth title defense; a new record, should he be successful.
Given that Jones has been as successful as he has been and given that Anderson Silva and GSP have both been guaranteed re-matches, it’s reasonable to muse as to whether or not Jones is getting a bum deal, regarding a loss to and re-match with, Gustafsson.
To be fair, the question can be argued with merit from both points of view.
There are many fans that believe a loss is a loss and that a champion should have to earn his way back to the title. However, there are also fans that believe that fighters as storied as Silva and GSP should be given a do-over, in the event of a loss.
On this point, the question becomes is Jones as storied as Silva or GSP? Again, I’m sure many fans would passionately argue the question both ways.
However, as there is precedent and there is, then it would seem to be unfair to Jones to deny him an immediate re-match. Not only does Jones have an amazing record and achieved a great deal in a very short period of time, but in doing so, Jones has crushed the best of the best; not a dog in the lot. So, it could be argued that although not as tenured as Silva and GSP, Jones does have superior quality of wins in terms of the five x-champions that he’s defeated, and as such, would merit a re-match.
However, as Jones is considerably younger than Silva and even St. Pierre, and as such, has copious amounts of time left on his career, White might not see the urgency in giving him a re-match. Also, as Jones is not the same PPV draw as either Silva or St. Pierre, White might see more value in protecting the rankings and the process, than throwing it out the door in favor of a re-match for Jones.
As most fans like Gustafsson, but at the same time see the value in (some) immediate re-matches, my guess is that most will be happy with either scenario and if Jones loses and White either sees or doesn’t see the value in an immediate re-match, they (the fans) will be fine with any decision he makes.