White wants to see Jones-Gustafsson II, but fighters need time to nurse injuries


Superlatives are still coming in for Saturday night’s thriller between Alexander Gustafsson and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

Debate continues to rage online as to whether Jones’ somewhat controversial unanimous-decision victory at UFC 165 in Toronto goes down as the best light heavyweight title fight in the organization’s history. Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said it’s the kind of fight in which there is no loser.

Jones showed vulnerability for the first time in his career and proved he has a chin and the heart to gut out a victory. Gustafsson proved his legitimacy as a top contender in the division and came far closer than anyone else to beating Jones, including scoring the first takedown of the champion.

Everyone wins. Well, except for Glover Teixeira.

The Brazilian, previously announced as the next challenger to the belt, was sitting cageside to get a close look at who his opponent would be for the championship fight.

The picture got a bit murky after the fight, however.

While White wasn’t ready to commit to a second Jones-Gustafsson fight, he certainly wasn’t opposed to the idea.

“I would like to do the rematch,” White said at the post-fight news conference. “It makes sense. I like it.”

Neither fighter was around to discuss their thoughts as both went to the hospital following the five-round slugfest. White said with both fighters banged up, including a foot injury (not a fracture) that had Jones badly limping, the time to discuss the next step is still down the road.

“When you see two guys get busted up like they did tonight, they don’t even want to talk about fighting for a few weeks,” White said.

A potential rematch would likely do huge business and makes sense for the planned Super Bowl weekend card outside New York.

■ THOMSON GETS TITLE SHOT — Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson will finally get his chance to win the UFC belt when he fights Anthony Pettis in the main event of UFC on Fox 9 in Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 14.

Pettis was scheduled to make his first defense of the title against T.J. Grant on the card, but Grant had to pull out because of lingering issues from a concussion he suffered in training. The original concussion also had forced Grant to pull out of a scheduled title fight against former champion Benson Henderson. Pettis filled in for Grant and won the belt.

Thomson, 35, made his UFC return after more than eight years outside the organization with a knockout of Nate Diaz in April.

Several other fights also were announced for the Fox card.

Carlos Condit will fight Matt Brown in a matchup of welterweight contenders.

Sacramento-based Team Alpha Male also will be well represented at the event, as bantamweight contender Urijah Faber will fight Michael McDonald and featherweight contender Chad Mendes faces Nik Lentz.

■ NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY — The weeklong media tour promoting the UFC 168 main event rematch between middleweight champion Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva stops in Las Vegas today.

Weidman and Silva will appear with White at a news conference in the MGM Grand lobby at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Weidman will defend the belt he took from Silva at the MGM Grand on Dec. 28. The tour promoting the event began in Los Angeles in Monday and continues in New York, Bristol, Conn., and Miami this week.

There also will be press events in two cities in Brazil next week.

■ JENKINS UPSET — Top lightweight prospect Bubba Jenkins suffered a stunning loss to virtual unknown LaRue Burley on the Bellator 100 card in Phoenix on Friday.

Jenkins, the 2011 NCAA wrestling champion from Arizona State, had easily won his first three professional MMA bouts via first-round submissions before signing a long-term deal with Bellator this year.

He won by second-round knockout in his Bellator debut in July, but fatigued badly against Burley before being finished with a barrage of punches in the third round. Jenkins had been more than a 14-1 favorite.

Also on the card, Douglas Lima won the Season 8 welterweight tournament with a second-round knockout of Ben Saunders.

War Machine, the fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver, was one of four fighters to advance in the quarterfinals of the Season 9 welterweight tournament.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

 

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