Dana White Says UFC Considering Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson II in Sweden

Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IApril 27, 2014

USA Today

During a UFC 172 post-fight media scrum, UFC President Dana White said that the promotion is considering a rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden. 

While nothing is confirmed at this moment, White strongly suggested that the event could take place at an outdoor stadium in Gustafsson's home country of Sweden, presumably the Friends Arena.  According to White, the event would be "massive" for all parties involved. 

"It has the potential to be huge, and the gate on this thing is going to be huge, too, depending on where we do it," White said. "It’s a big, massive fight. If we do it in Europe, this thing could do 50, 60,000 seats or more." 

After this hint, members of the media pressed the issue, asking if he meant to specifically target Sweden for this European show.

"Yeah, of course," White said. 

Understanding that Jon Jones, the champion, may feel a bit hesitant to accept a fight in his challenger's home nation, White noted that the fight needs to take place where it will do the best business. 

"Jon's going to agree to whatever fight we make," White said. "Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. We never have people say, ‘This is where I’m going to fight my fight.’ It never happened. It won’t happen. We gotta take the fight wherever the fight is going to do the best." 

Still, there are doubts. 

The champion probably wants to fight on his terms, and, after the amazing reception he received from the crowd in Baltimore for UFC 172, he'd probably like to build upon that momentum and continue to elevate his stock in the eyes of his fans. 

Obviously, any rematch between Jones and Gustafsson—who previously fought a close, back-and-forth five-round battle at UFC 165—would be huge for the company, but booking the event in Sweden certainly adds a little extra intrigue to it. 

While the first fight between Jones and Gustafsson went down as the 2013 Fight of the Year, White said he is impressed with Jones' improvements as a fighter and as a man. 

After barely getting touched in his previous title defenses, Jones was pushed to the limit by Gustafsson, and White felt that the reigning champion would take the easy way out against his UFC 172 challenger, Glover Teixeira. This, however, is not what transpired. 

"I think a lot of people—me included—questioned how he (Jones) was going to bounce back from the first time he’s ever gotten his ass whooped," White said. "Why not play it safe? Double leg Glover, get him down, get that top position, and you know what he can do with his elbows on the ground. He didn’t do it at all."

The notion of a "new and improved" Jones represents a scary thought, but that is exactly what mixed martial arts fans saw on Saturday night at UFC 172 in Jones' eyes. 

Building on the momentum of Jones' masterpiece against Teixeira, White now looks to the future. This means Jones vs. Gustafsson II and right now it's looking like the showdown will take place on the Swede's turf. 


*All quotes were obtained firsthand.