LAS VEGAS – With Jon Jones (18-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Alexander Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) taking to Twitter and seemingly lobbying for a fight, UFC President Dana White said it’s a matchup that could very well happen.
“They have both said they want to fight each other,” White said following Saturday’s UFC 160 event in Las Vegas. “Anything is possible.”
Both UFC light heavyweight champion Jones and Swedish contender Gustafsson were in Russia this weekend. While rumors of a proposed UFC event in the country – one that would presumably feature Jones vs. Gustafsson – quickly spread, White insisted the pair was not there on any UFC-related business.
“No, not at all,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “They did some seminar out there.”
But the two have spent some of their journey trading barbs at each other on Twitter, and fans have quickly taken notice.
“It’s on @JonnyBones,” Gustafsson wrote. “Can’t wait to get in that cage with YOU!!!”
“Fighting me is not good for your image, @AlexTheMauler,” Jones replied. “FYI.”
Jones has long made it clear Gustafsson is on his list of targets in the light-heavyweight division. One of his primary motivations is to address critics who say the 6-foot-4 Jones’ success is due largely to his size advantage over his opponents. Gustafsson is also 6-foot-4 and wouldn’t face such a challenge.
Of course, it’s former champion Lyoto Machida who was promised a future shot at Jones with his February win over Dan Henderson at UFC 157. However, it seems with each passing day, UFC brass may be losing interest in putting together a rematch of the pair’s December 2011 meeting.
“The problem is nobody is clamoring and saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got to see Machida fight him,’” White explained. “And Jones finished him so easily, that’s the problem with that fight, and Machida didn’t make a statement in his last fight.”
Jones fought most recently at April’s UFC 159 event. While he dispatched of Chael Sonnen with relative ease, he also suffered a gruesome toe injury that White recently said could force the champ to sit for as much as six months. An upcoming MRI is expected to provide more clarity, at which point the UFC’s plans for Jones may become more evident.
For now, White doesn’t seem to be shutting the door on any possible scenario.
“I don’t know,” White admitted. “We’ll see what happens.”
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Alexander Gustafsson)