Who knows when Jon Jones’ mangled toe will allow him to return to the Octagon, but it’s getting pretty clear who the reigning UFC light heavyweight king would like to make his next title defense against.
After steamrolling Chael Sonnen at UFC 159, Jones has repeatedly said he’s got his sights set on Alexander Gustafsson.
Why “The Mauler?” Because Jones is sick of hearing critics complain that he continues to beat up on smaller opponents.
Gustafsson possesses similar weight, height, reach and length as Jones. Gustafsson and his team releasing a Harlem Shake video that featured his friends holding up signs that read ”Jon Jones You Are Next” didn’t help matters, either.
To reinforce the message, Gustafsson took to Twitter Friday morning to let Jones know he was still on his mind.
“Its on @JonnyBones cant wait to get in that cage with YOU!!!” Gustafsson tweeted.
To which Jones promptly responded, “Fighting me is not good for your image @AlexTheMauler FYI.”
During Thursday’s media gathering, UFC president Dana White said Jones could be out anywhere from “six weeks to six months” because of his dislocated toe. How quickly the ligaments heal will likely determine Gustafsson’s fate.
If Jones is forced to sit the sidelines for a half a year, Gustafsson will have to take another fight in the interim, perhaps a top contender bout against former champ Lyoto Machida.