Gustafsson agrees to Jones rematch

ByBrett Okamoto ESPN logo
Sunday, May 25, 2014

LAS VEGAS -- The UFC has a target date and a location for a light heavyweight title rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.

The only thing needed now is Jones' signature on a bout agreement.

UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta told on Saturday the promotion intends to book the 205-pound title bout to a UFC 177 pay-per-view event on Aug. 30, in Las Vegas. The card is expected to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The UFC offered the fight to Jones through his management Monday, according to Fertitta. Jones (20-1), widely considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world, has not yet agreed to the bout, Fertitta said.

Gustafsson (16-2) submitted a verbal agreement to the date and location on Saturday, according to his manager Manos Terzitane. The Swede came up short in a back-and-forth title bid against Jones at UFC 165 in September.

"Yes, that's true," Terzitane said on Gustafsson committing to the fight. "We were offered to fight on the card at the end of August in Las Vegas.

"This is a big fight. The first title fight was the best fight in UFC history. We're just hoping Jones will accept the fight."

Jones' representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A rematch has seemed inevitable ever since the first meeting. A heavy underdog, Gustafsson came within one round of taking Jones' title in a bout many considered the Fight of the Year.

Jones ultimately rallied in the championship rounds to earn a unanimous decision. The final judges' scores read 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46.

The UFC expressed interest in booking an immediate rematch, but Jones opted in favor of a fight against Brazilian contender Glover Teixeira. He dominated Teixeira via unanimous decision for his seventh UFC title defense last month.

After the win, Jones refused to answer questions regarding a potential rematch with Gustafsson.

"I'm not thinking about the future at this point," Jones said at a postfight news conference. "I just want to live in the moment and be grateful for what's happening right now.

"I don't really want to talk about that kid at all." ranks Jones and Gustafsson the Nos. 1 and 2 light heavyweights in the world, respectively.

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