Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson and Jon “Bones” Jones are finally scheduled to run back their “Fight of the Year” after more than half a decade since they last met. ESPN first reported that a rematch between Gustafsson and Jones will headline UFC 232 in Las Vegas. Not only that, but the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight title will be on the line.
Rumors have been circulating for weeks that the matchup was being targeted as the potential main event for UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden. However, Dana White put an end to that conversation last week. The Sports Post was in attendance for the UFC 229 Pre-Fight Press Conference, when a member of the media asked as much of White, to which he simply replied that Jon Jones would not be ready to compete by November.
It soon became clear that UFC had bigger plans in mind, literally, for UFC 230. ESPN reported that a Heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis was confirmed as the main event for the November 3 Madison Square Garden card.
According to the Official UFC website, Daniel Cormier is still listed as the Light Heavyweight Champion and the Heavyweight Champion. Though, UFC President Dana White recently mentioned on the UFC Unfiltered podcast that Cormier would soon be forced to vacate one of the belts.
“Cormier is hurt right now,” White explained when speaking to “UFC Unfiltered.” “He broke his hand in the Stipe [Miocic] fight. So when they’re in these types of situations, much like the Conor [McGregor] situation and others that it’s happened to, Georges St-Pierre, whoever, Cormier by tying up two belts is going to have to give up one of the belts.” (Transcribed by Damon Martin for MMA Weekly)
Daniel Cormier would retain the Light Heavyweight Championship despite losing to Jones via head kick knockout on July 29, 2017. The win for Jones was overturned when he tested positive for turinabol, which is an anabolic-androgenic steroid. Although it was the second PED doping violation for Jon Jones, it is actually his third failed drug test after including his 2015 positive cocaine result.
Right now, Gustafsson is riding a two-fight win streak. He holds a 19-4 professional record with a 10-4 mark in the UFC. ‘Bones’ has a 22-1 (1) career MMA record. We’ve been over the no contest. As for the loss? Disqualification via illegal elbows against Matt Hammill in a fight he was dominating back on December 5, 2009. He’s 16-1 (1) in the UFC.
Despite multiple run-ins with drugs, a DUI arrest and a hit and run arrest, Jones’ second PED violation only received a paltry 15-month sentence — retroactive of course — which dates his eligibility for competition 28 October 2018. With all of the USADA business aside, it is confirmed he will return from his brief hiatus to meet Gustafsson in the UFC Octagon for the Main Event of UFC 232 on 29 December 2018.