Is Jon Jones Jamming Up The Light-Heavyweight Division?

UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has held the division hostage with an iron grip since winning the belt from Shogun Rua. That was three years ago, and the only fighter who has come close to beating ‘Bones’ in the time since is Alexander Gustafsson. ‘The Mauler’ faced off against Jones at UFC 165, in a fight that was very hard to call. Fast forward to 2014, and it looks as though we are set for a rematch of their epic FOTY 2013.

Gustafsson took a very risky fight against Jimi Manuwa back in March, one that many fans felt should have never happened, but ‘The Mauler’ came through with a monstrous second round knockout. Gustafsson, in the eyes of many, deserved an immediate rematch, and it was ironic that it was Jones who said he didn’t feel Gus deserved one. The wake of UFC 165 was not only filled with awe at the main event, but also questions about Jones’ will to rematch his Swedish foe.

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Any questions about the champion’s will to fight were answered against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172, as the Jackson’s MMA product dominated en route to a unanimous decision win. So the stars have aligned for the rematch of these 205-pound titans, right? Well, not exactly. Gustafsson has already agreed to the fight, but Jones has not. The exact reason is unknown, and then news broke earlier today that surging contender Daniel Cormier wants an interim title fight with Gus.

OK, so enough background, my question is does Jon Jones have the right to hold up the division, and it’s rightful contender, and potentially force an absolutely unnecessary interim championship? Those fights are usually contested when the champion is absent due to unforeseen circumstances, and most commonly as a result of injuries. So my follow up question is why hasn’t Jones signed?

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One way of looking at it is that Jones wants a better contract, or fight deal, which is understandable considering the current economic climate in MMA, but surely that isn’t a good enough reason to keep the number one guy waiting. Furthermore, it will back up the rest of the top 10 by putting the top end on lock down. Then there is the other, darker opinion; Jon Jones doesn’t want to fight Alexander Gustafsson.

I’ll keep my thoughts to myself on the ‘Chicken Bones’ angle of the debate, but I’d be more than happy to hear what you think of that. That being said, whatever the reason for Jones’ stalling; it’s starting to grind my gears a little.