Let's get this out of the way quick: Jon Jones wants to fight Daniel Cormier -- not Alexander Gustafsson -- next because he "might be worried" about getting sent to the hospital again and ... "DC" IS STILL HURT!
With the nonsense out of the way, can we move along now? Thanks.
Yes, the general consensus around the water cooler is that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones, doesn't want any part of current No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson. Heck, company president Dana White has even gone way out of his way to put his best fighter on the spot, leaking target dates, expressing unhappiness and finally laying down gauntlets.
But, as Jones reminded mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, "it's his career, not yours." And that includes White and Co., whether UFC talks tough or not.
Stuck in the middle is Cormier, an undefeated (15-0) former Olympic-level wrestler who came out of nowhere to win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament back in 2012. With four wins inside the Octagon, he has certainly made a case that he deserves a 205-pound title shot, but is willing to wait his turn and/or fight "The Mauler" for an interim strap if Jones continues to stall.
Something that is entirely possible, according to Cormier (via Yahoo!Sports):
"He had to reach so deep into his soul to win that last fight, I truly believe he doesn't want to fight Alex again. Alex took him somewhere he'd never been before and he doesn't want to go there ever again."
Jones and his manager have a meeting with White and UFC tomorrow to discuss the stalemate, as well as likely bury another hatchet in what has morphed into a rather contentious relationship. But, make no mistake, Jones -- his questionable behavior aside -- holds all the cards heading into the negotiation.
UFC needs Jones more than Jones needs UFC right now. And a case can be made that Gustafsson isn't going anywhere if Jones can get through a less than 100 percent Cormier.
That's right, the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)-trained standout is mulling surgery to repair a tweaked knee and, according to the latest edition of "UFC Tonight," is more than willing to postpone the procedure to leapfrog the Swede.
Unless, of course, UFC "doctors" recommend otherwise between now and then.