It sounds strange even saying it, but Alexander Gustafsson wants Jon Jones to beat Daniel Cormier on September 27 at the MGM Grand.
After Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier brawled at their UFC 178 press conference in Las Vegas on Monday, Gustafsson took the opportunity to talk about how he was feeling about being replaced in the match because of his knee injury.
“[It’s] not serious at all,” he said on The MMA Hour. “It’s actually one of the easiest knee injuries you could have. It’s a very easy operation, it takes maybe 15-20 minutes. The recovery time is just a few weeks, and you can walk home from the surgery. It’s not a big deal at all. The thing is, it’s one of those things where it’s a small problem that can get very big if you don’t do anything about it.”
The light heavyweight contender plans on having surgery in Sweden today to fix his torn meniscus. He said that while the operation is minor and will only require a little recovery time, it was a non-decision to delay the surgery because he couldn’t risk stepping inside the Octagon against Jon Jones and not feel completely healthy.
“For me to have a 10-12 week camp against Jones, I need to be 100 percent. I can’t go into that cage knowing that something is hurting. I need to be 100 percent. We decided that I needed to have that operation.”
The problem is that while Gustafsson will be ready to start training again by the end of this month… if Cormier were to defeat Jones, it could take awhile for him to get a shot at the belt again as Cormier has already delayed his own knee surgery to step in for the Swede. It’s also clear that Jones would initially get a rematch in the event of a loss after having defended the belt successfully seven straight times.
As a result, make no ‘Bones’ about it. Gustafsson wants Jones to win.
“No respect to DC, I think he’s a very great opponent and a great athlete, I think he’s a very tough fighter and a hard-working guy, but I believe Jones will win the fight,” he said. “I’m actually hoping that he will win the fight because if I’m going to take the belt from anybody I want it to be Jones.”
Gustafsson and Jones fought at UFC 165 this past September in Toronto and it was regarded as the best fight of the year by many. Gustafsson became the first man to take Jones down in the Octagon and the Swede still believes he won the fight that he officially lost by decision.
“I see myself fighting Jones,” he said. “That’s what I want. Nothing else. That’s what I want. I’m not saying anything else, and I’m really, really hoping that I get my chance. I will do my operation, and I’ll have my few weeks of rehab, and I’m going to come back stronger than ever. When my knee is healed, I’m going to be 100 percent. I’m going to be better than ever. I’m really hoping that I get my title. I want my title.”
Tags: Alexander Gustafsson, Mixed Martial Arts