If he gets by Chael Sonnen in Saturday’s UFC 159 headliner, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has two goals: a fight with Alexander Gustafsson and a spot on a future UFC on FOX card.
As a heavy favorite over Sonnen (27-12-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC), whom he meets in Saturday’s pay-per-view headliner at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Jones (17-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) has fielded numerous questions about what’s next.
When asked about potential opponents in the division, he quickly mentioned one name: Swedish contender Alexander Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC).
“Gustafsson for sure,” Jones said. “That’s somebody I want to fight.”
Gustafsson first mentioned the idea first as part of the above video.
“I don’t call people out,” Jones said. “He called me out first by making that ‘Harlem Shake’ video. He was like, ‘Jones is next.’ I was like, ‘Alright, if you really want me to be next, I’ll desire that fight.’”
Jones said he’s anxious to fight a guy with a similar build, height and reach. After all, he said, many fans are quick to criticize him and said his recent dominance is aided greatly by his long frame. But more importantly and unlike Sonnen, Jones appreciates that Gustafsson has been a professional while campaigning for the title fight.
“He’s a guy who has respect,” Jones said. “He’s a new guy to fight. It’s a champion vs. a young guy who’s ambitious. That’s a threat, always a threat, because he’s going to want it bad.”
And while such a matchup likely would headline a major PPV event, Jones said he’d like to fight on a UFC on FOX card at some point. He said he’s currently one of the UFC’s top 5 PPV draws, but he’d like to fight on network TV and be exposed to some new fans.
So don’t be surprised if he pulls aside UFC President Dana White for a discussion.
“I would love to be on a FOX card,” he said. “I would absolutely love to be on a FOX card. I would have to figure out how I would work that out with Dana (since I would) not be getting any of the pay-per-view (revenue) and stuff like that, but you do it because it’s a job too.
“But I would absolutely be honored to [be exposed] to a different demographic. A lot of people can’t afford to be spending $60 for entertainment like that, and I’m aware of that. I’d love to fight for people like that. I’d be honored.”
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