Jon Jones defended his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight title this past weekend (April 26, 2014) by schooling Glover Teixeira for five rounds at UFC 172, which went down in Baltimore, Maryland.
Video highlights here.
In doing so, "Bones" secured a highly-anticipated rematch for the promotion, as he will next welcome back Alexander Gustafsson, the man who gave him all he could handle at UFC 165, when the two hook 'em up later this year.
From his viewpoint, Gustafsson says Jones did enough to win the fight against Glover, as expected, but didn't perform like he has in the past.
"He was dominating Glover from the beginning, no doubt about it," Gustafsson said on The MMA Hour. "But, I don't know, it seemed like he didn't perform like he used to do. I thought that, I don't know, he did enough to win the fight basically," he added. "We used to see spectacular things with Jon Jones when he fights. He mixed things up and he did it in this fight, too. But he didn't do it like he used to do in his previous fights."
And while Jones refuses to acknowledge Gustafsson by name in interviews, referring to him as "that kid," he knows all too well he has a tough task ahead of him. According to "The Mauler," the fact that Jones refuses to say his name pretty much means he's in the champ's head.
"I don't think he likes me," said Alexander. "It is what it is and one day we will fight again. For me, it's not personal, its just the fighting game. It's strictly business for me."
Indeed, the two have exchanged more than a few words since their first fight, with Jones going as far as saying that Gustafsson is "delusional" for thinking he won their title fight. According to "The Mauler," it just means Jones can't stop thinking about him.
"I think I'm in his head now," said Gustafsson. "I am happy (that he's in his head). I've been learning a lot through the years, and it's not just the fight itself. It's a lot of mental fighting with each other. I realize now that it is very important. I'm in his head, he gets irritated just by my name. That's good."
More importantly, Gustafsson says he has been able to creep into Jon's head without talking too much trash.
In addition, Gustafsson responded to Jon's recent claim that he fought him at "80 percent" in their first encounter, saying that he fought the best version of Jones possible, and had that truly been the case, the towering Swede would have finished "Bones."
No matter, as Alexander will have at least one more try to dethrone Jones from the top of the 205-pound mountain; and he vows to get a finish to avoid any and all controversy.
Saying it is one thing, but can he actually deliver on his promise?