UFC Champion Jon Jones is coming off his toughest fight to date. As everyone knows, the once untouchable champion looked more human against Alexander Gustafsson, and he was clearly banged up after the fight. Even if he does not have an injury that needs longer term care Jones will probably rest for a while. Looking at the UFC’s schedule, we are unlikely to see Jones back in action before February of 2014 – he makes an ideal main event for Super Bowl weekend. There is a lot of talk but nothing concrete yet, so let’s look at some of the options.
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Let’s face it – the list of people that could be facing Jon Jones next is limited to about 5 people. There aren’t many people qualified for the spot or that you could justify a title match for. The UFC is going to use Jon Jones twice a year to drum up big paydays as he becomes the sport’s number one attraction.
Which makes a Gustafsson rematch immediately the most likely scenario. The match got unprecedented interest, as it basically was a higher skilled version of the Bonner-Griffin fight. Gustafsson is hot right now, and the bottom line is that there is no real clear cut opponent for Gustafsson either.
Glover Teixeira has fought his way to the title shot, and he is screaming to get his shot at Jones and the belt next. The UFC is strong in Brazil, and though it would be wrong to do that to Teixeira, he is going to have to wait for his title shot. The emergence of Gustafsson is truly what the UFC needed to advance the sport in Europe further. It isn’t like the Brazilian crowd is going to watch the Anderson Silva – Cris Weidman II bout because they are protesting over Teixeira’s lack of a title shot.
This makes Gustafsson the most likely next opponent for Jones, with Teixeira coming in second. Beyond that, Daniel Cormier’s name gets mentioned, but Jones himself seems to look at the idea with disdain. Gegard Mousasi is qualified, but hasn’t cut his teeth in UFC and isn’t the type to smack talk his way into a fight. Mousasi might be a logical opponent for Gustafsson, should the UFC elect to go with Jones-Teixeira first.