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Dana White: A Rematch Between Jones and Gustafsson Does and Doesn’t Make Sense
UFC president Dana White has had a lot to talk about recently. From the fallout of last weekend’s Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson classic to this week’s kick off of the ‘UFC World Tour’ to promote the upcoming rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, White has a very full plate.
The World Tour, which covers seven cities in seven days, kicked off in Los Angeles yesterday. Our friends at MMA H.E.A.T. were on hand to catch White’s media scrum where he touched on a multitude of hot topics in the UFC. The scrum started off fast, with White responding to a question about Silva appearing annoyed by the media at the outset of the tour:
“You guys are pretty annoying. I don’t know what it means. When have you had a normal interview with Anderson? I’m sure he’s not thrilled we have to do seven cities in seven days, I’m sure he had other things to do, but this is part of the deal. No matter how he feels, no matter what he acts like, this fight is going to be insane. Can you imagine when the music starts playing and these two are walking out in December? It’s gonna be unbelievable. It’s gonna be a fun fight.”
There’s not much doubt that the rematch between Weidman and Silva could be one of, if not the, biggest fights in UFC history. The hype surrounding Silva’s first loss in the Octagon has been nothing short of massive, and it will only get bigger regardless of he wins or loses.
Of course the hotly debated topic of Jones vs. Gustafsson arose, and White spoke up about his take on the match after he had rewatched UFC 165’s main event:
“I did. I gave it to Jones. He definitely won the last two rounds. (Marc) Ratner had it even going into the fifth round. I’m trying to remember what rounds I gave him. But I had him winning the fight. I had him winning the fight, like, no doubt about it, like, no controversy whatsoever.”
Many would argue that there was controversy, that Gustafsson should have been the man to walk out of the Air Canada Centre with the belt around his waist. However, we’ve seen instances in the past where you have to take the belt from the champ in decisive fashion, and even Gustafsson knows that is the case. Talk of an immediate rematch is swirling, and White addressed it, saying that it doesn’t necessarily have to be right away like Weidman vs. Silva II:
“It does and it doesn’t (make sense) in the fact that they’re both young guys. Jones won the fight. The judges made the right decision. It was a great fight, it was a close fight, it was a war, you know, but the champion won. So maybe, Glover fights next, and, we don’t know. But I’m getting together with Lorenzo on Wednesday to see what we wanna do. We might do an immediate rematch.”
So a rematch between Jones and Gustafsson isn’t necessarily set in stone, but it would be surprising if it weren’t booked soon. There are a few challenges left for Jones at 205, namely Teixeira and Daniel Cormier, but it’s hard to think anyone can give him a run for his money more than Gustafsson at this point. According to White, Jones was excited by what he learned from the war at UFC 165:
“I talked to Jones last night, and he was just like, ‘I love that fight. I learned so much in that fight last night.’ He couldn’t say enough good things about the fight and how fun it was. That’s not what I expected to hear the day after the fight. It’s cool to hear. I’m really happy with where he’s at.”
Jones has turned into a resilient champ regardless of whether you feel Gustafsson was robbed or not.
For now, White is busy flying around the world with Weidman and Silva to promote his current ‘biggest fight ever.’ That bout may live up to its huge billing, but Jones vs. Gustafsson II could trump it next year. Either way, the fans should get some absolutely epic title fights in the coming months.
Check out White’s full ‘UFC World Tour’ scrum from Los Angeles: