Jon Jones claimed he held off in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson because it was too early.
Jones-Gustafsson II will be held Sept. 27 for UFC 178. The previous fight between the two was a fight of the year candidate, with Jones barely getting past Gustafsson.
“I didn’t want to go this early and I would have preferred to go later in October or November,” Jones claimed, according to ESPN. “It is what it is. We have a date now, Sept. 27. This was a personal decision for me. I will be at my brother’s wedding and have a proper training camp.”
Jones originally wanted to face contender Daniel Cormier for his next title defense, according to UFC President Dana White.
“I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson,” Jones claimed. “There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight.”
Jones added the issue was his brother is getting married. “The issue was that my brother is getting married in July and I would have preferred a later date. I didn’t want to go this early and I would have preferred to go later in October or November. It is what it is,” he added.
“Obviously Jon is right, this if the fight the fans want to see. The great thing about this is, we get Jones vs Gustafsson, and if Jones beats Gustafsson, we get Jones vs Cormier. Two great fights in the light heavyweight division with three of the baddest guys in the world: the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and champion Jon Jones, and the number one and two contenders,” UFC President Dana White also said, according to the UFC’s website.
Reports indicate that UFC 178 will be targeted for Toronto. Jones is coming off a unanimous victory over Glover Teixeira during UFC 172 in April; he has nabbed seven consecutive title defenses, which is a record for the light heavyweight division.