UFC 232 Descends on Las Vegas… and on Big Al’s!
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson rekindled their rivalry during the UFC 232 press conference, and “Bones” pulled no punches with “The Mauler” ahead of the December rematch.
After a thrilling “Fight of the Year” battle at UFC 165 in September 2013, won by Jones (21-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC), the former champ will rematch Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) for the soon-to-be-vacant light heavyweight title in the Dec. 29 headliner. UFC 232 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view right here at Big Al’s following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
It’s been several years since the memorable encounter, and after the rematch fell apart once before, it will now take place at UFC 232. In their first promotional duties for the event, Jones and Gustafsson went right at each other.
“I didn’t train as hard as I should have,” Jones said of the competitive nature of the first bout. “I was winning so many fights. I was being a wild dude, and I was still winning, and it caught up to me. It definitely caught up to me.”
Gustafsson took umbrage with Jones’ take on the fight: “Excuses, only excuses,” Gustafsson said. “That’s the only thing I hear. That’s all I hear. I beat you once, I can beat you again.”
Jones fired right back at the Swede. “If my excuse is that I didn’t train hard enough, what’s your excuse for losing?” Jones said. “We had a close fight, but did you get ripped off in the (Daniel Cormier) fight as well? What about Anthony Johnson – did you beat him? What about Phil Davis – did you beat him, as well?”
Gustafsson feels he won the fight at UFC 165, three rounds to two, and the judges got the call wrong. He feels passionately to this day that he should have got his hand raised and said he will leave no doubt in the rematch.
“That’s where you’re wrong – I didn’t lose, Jon,” Gustafsson said. “We all know I didn’t lose. I’m very fortunate to have a third time to fight for the belt. I’m fighting Jon, it’s the biggest fight of my life. I respected him too much the first time we fought. I’m not going to give him the respect I gave him the first time. I will show the world you can beat the man that’s never been beaten.”
It doesn’t sit well with Jones that Gustafsson gave him the most competitive fight of his career. He admits to not taking things seriously at UFC 165 but said it will be a different story at UFC 232 and he intends on winning in a definitive manner.
“The goal is to finish this fight, and that’s what I will do,” Jones said. “I will finish this fight.”
UFC 232 also features a SuperFight as fellow Brazilians Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes take the Octagon. The UFC women’s featherweight champion (Cyborg) said she doesn’t “have any problem (with Amanda)… but she asks for nine months for training for this fight. I think when you call someout out you have to be ready. You don’t have to need nine months to be ready.”
Nunes, UFC’s bantamweight title holder agreed to the December fight in August, after successfully defending her belt against Raquel Pennington in May 2018.
For more on UFC 232, click here to link to the UFC 232 Fight Page.