TORONTO – Will Jon Jones be next?
That is the question many UFC fans find themselves asking on the heels of one of the most talked-about UFC main event finishes in recent memory, which saw Chris Weidman knockout Anderson Silva on Sunday to become the new UFC middleweight champion.
While light-heavyweight champion Jones and #1 contender Alexander Gustafsson were in Toronto on Tuesday to promote the pair’s September 21 fight at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, their press conference was dominated with questions about the Silva result.
While the result surprised many, UFC 165 challenge Gustafsson said that he didn’t bat an eye at what happened and that it did justify his belief that anyone can fall in the Octagon.
“Everyone is human. Everyone can lose. It gives me a spark and motivation, but most of all, I wasn’t shocked when that happened.”
The champion said that while he is still a fan of Silva, the champion’s lack of discipline was to blame.
“He disrespected his gift by disrespecting his opponent,” said the 25-year-old Jones. “Martial arts is a sport built around honour, integrity and treating people with respect. He somehow lost sight of that and he paid the ultimate price for it. I am not over the Anderson Silva hype train.”
According to the champion, the loss actually inspired him to win.
“It actually motivates me a lot too, to see somebody who I look up to lose. It’s just like a reality check. I try to keep my ego in check when it comes to the fight game,” said Jones. “Watching Anderson lose like that, first of all, it’s something that I would never do. Put my hands down and fight my opponent that way like that but watching Chris Weidman’s dream come true, I have to make sure I am a dream crusher. That is what I am going to do.”
Although, fans of the sport are already salivating at the thought of a Jones/Silva superfight, it is clear that the UFC 165 main event is a superfight to Gustafsson. On his path to becoming the #1 contender, the Swede has won his last six fights, claiming victories over Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Thiago Silva and Matt Hamill. It has become resounding clear that while the world seems to be waiting for the Jones/Silva match, UFC 165 is Gistafsson’s superfight.
“I see the greatest test in my career. He is a champion for a reason and I am so ready for this fight.”
Jones concurred, claiming that he is not looking past his next opponent.
“Alexander Gustafsson is a guy who really wanted a shot at the title. He is a guy that I asked for. He asked for me and I asked for him. I feel like everything is right on schedule.”
The fight marks the third time that Jones has headlined a UFC event in Toronto. The card also includes a second title fight as interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao (32-1, 1 NC) defends his title against Eddie Wineland (20-8-1).
The undercard for UFC 165 includes two heavyweights making their Octagon® debut and four Canadians in action:
– Heavyweights Daniel Omielanczuk (15-3-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland) vs. Nandor Guelmino (11-4-1, fighting out of Vienna, Austria)
– Welterweights Stephen Thompson (7-1, fighting out of Simpsonville, South Carolina) vs. London, Ontario’s Chris Clements (11-4-0, 1 NC)
– Brazilian lightweight Michel Prazeres (16-1) vs. Woodbridge, Ontario’s Mark Bocek (11-5)
– Lightweight Myles Jury (12-0, fighting out of San Diego, California) vs. Montreal’s Mike Ricci (9-3)
– Japan’s Norifumi Yamamoto (18-6, 1 NC) vs. Montreal’s Ivan Menjivar (25-10) in a
Tickets for UFC 165: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON went on-sale today and are priced at $450, $300, $200, $150, $95 and $75. Tickets will be available at the Air Canada Centre box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000 or online at Ticketmaster.ca. Ticket prices do not include applicable service charges.