But with all due respect, that list doesn't include Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
That's according to "Bones," who believes Alexander Gustafsson -- fresh off the champ's closest fight to date at UFC 165 -- should have to fight another top contender like Daniel Cormier before getting a rematch, rather than an easy lay-up like Nogueira, designed to preserve his spot in line.
Jones elaborates to MMA Fighting:
"I wanna see [Gustafsson] fight a top contender. Seems like these guys are not really having the toughest time to get to the belt. Teixeira goes from Bader to a championship fight. Gustafsson went from Shogun to a championship fight. I feel like they save all the dogs for me and they just give the toughest guys the easiest match-ups to get to a title shot. Let's see some of these top contenders fight each other."
When news broke that Gustafsson would be fighting Nogueira:
"I was like 'Really? You want him to have the rematch that bad?' No disrespect to Nogueira, but let's see Gustafsson versus Cormier. It makes so much sense. Me, Cormier, Gustafsson and Teixeira, the top four guys in the division. Let's put us all in a little round-robin pool and see who is the toughest out of us four. Why throw Little Nog into the picture? But whatever, I'm gonna fight the toughest one anyway."
Perhaps UFC matchmakers need to follow suit and start making some "bad ass" decisions.
Cormier also had his sights set on "Little Nog," but preferred to fight Gustafsson -- assuming it was contested stateside -- if a win over "The Mauler" meant an immediate title shot. Unfazed, the towering Swede appeared willing to give in to those demands.
The promotion, apparently, felt differently.
In the end, UFC may not have many options. Nogueira pulled out of his fight against Gustafsson (details) and Teixeira, the other "top contender," is already getting his crack at the crown. That leaves Phil Davis and the winner of Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen (UFC 167) as other possible names.
What say you?