Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 set for UFC 232; Daniel Cormier to be stripped of title
It’s a rematch five years in the making, and it’ll happen at UFC 232.
Jon Jones will make his return to the octagon Dec. 29 against Alexander Gustafsson, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to MMAjunkie following an initial report by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The Jones-Gustafsson rematch will be for the light heavyweight title, which current champion Daniel Cormier officially will be stripped of once the bell rings.
UFC 232 takes at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view.
Last month, Cormier – who will defend his heavyweight title vs. Derrick Lewis next month at UFC 230 – shed light on the fact that this is what the UFC wanted, and now it’s happening. Gustafsson announced last week that he’d signed his contract for the fight.
Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) fought Jones for the light heavyweight belt at UFC 165 five years ago when Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) still was champion. Jones won a narrow unanimous decision in what arguably was the closest he’s come to losing since becoming champion.
Since that loss, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Gustafsson. He’s gone just 3-2, including a split-decision loss to Cormier in a title fight at UFC 192. He fought just once in 2016, beating Jan Blachowicz by decision, and just once in 2017, a knockout win over former title challenger Glover Teixeira.
Jones most recently fought in July 2017, when he stopped Cormier with a third-round TKO to win the light heavyweight title back. But he was stripped of it, and the belt was returned to Cormier, after he tested positive for a banned steroid.
After lengthy negotiations with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Jones settled his case with a 15-month suspension retroactive to when he tested positive, making him eligible to return Oct. 28. His suspension length was shrouded in controversy given it was his second offense – and had a giant chunk of his potential ban taken off the table by agreeing to provide USADA with information “which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering or bringing forward a criminal offense or the breach of professional rules committed by another person,” per USADA officials.
With the addition, the UFC 232 card now includes:
- Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson – for light heavyweight title
- Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes
- Corey Anderson vs. Ilir Latifi
- Ryan Hall vs. B.J. Penn
- Arnold Allen vs. Gilbert Melendez
- Michael Chiesa vs. Carlos Condit