Dana White: We Are Not In Contract Negotiations With Jon Jones, He Just Doesn’t Want To Fight Alexander Gustafsson

Recently there’s been a ton of buzz around UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his supposed unwillingness to fight No. 1 contender Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson, who took him to the limit at UFC 165 last September and earned the right to rematch “Bones” by defeating Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37 in March.

The rematch was reportedly targeted for UFC 177 on August 30, but Jones was apparently holding up the booking because he was in contract negotiations with the UFC. However, UFC President spoke up on today’s “The Download” from UFC.com to state that the company is not negotiating with Jones. Apparently there’s another reason why the seven-time defending champion won’t sign on the dotted line to face Gustafsson:

READ MORE:  Report - Dan Hooker return in the works for UFC 305 in Perth fight against Mateusz Gamrot

“”Just to clear up a couple things, people think we’re in contract negotiations with Jon Jones – we’re not. Jon Jones still has five fights left on his contract. So what we’re doing right now is trying to get him to sign the bout agreement for Gustafsson. He doesn’t want to fight Gustafsson. … Lorenzo and I have a meeting with Jones on Thursday to get him to sign the bout agreement, and he’s asking to fight Cormier instead.”

So the widespread talk of Jones ducking Gustafsson just got a massive dose of fuel thrown on its fire.

For his part, Cormier recently said that he’d be willing to face off with “The Mauler,” but only if there was an interim belt on the line. White said that fight might become a distinct possibility if Jones won’t sign on the dotted line.

READ MORE:  Magomed Ankalaev vows to KO Alex Pereira by year's end: 'He'll be asking, 'Are we back in Brazil?'

Gustafsson has already accused Jones of procrastinating on signing the bout agreement, and now we know why.

Immediate rematches may be becoming a bit of cliché in MMA, but there’s hardly any argument against “The Mauler” being fully deserving after one of the greatest fights of all-time, a bout that many still feel he won.

We’ve seen Jones avoid certain fights when all the factors aren’t perfectly in his favor; his refusal to face Chael Sonnen on 8 days notice that led to the cancellation of UFC 151 in 2012 comes to mind.

After his one-sided decision victory over Glover Teixeira at UFC 172, “Bones” is clearly the world’s No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter. Is it time he start acting like it and take on the fighter who has earned another shot at the belt?

READ MORE:  Conor McGregor again takes aim at Khabib Nurmagomedov amid tax issue: 'He betrayed and fled Russia'

Photo: Tom Szczerbowski for USA TODAY Sports