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Alexander Gustafasson: Beating Jon Jones would be as big as being UFC champion

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

After giving Jon Jones the toughest fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career way back at UFC 165 in 2013, taking the former Light Heavyweight champion to the distance in a five-round championship fight, Alexander Gustafsson never got his much-desired rematch.

Four years later, it’s a fight “The Mauler” would still like to have, despite the fact that Jones is no longer the 205-pound champion. In fact, as he recently declared during a UFC Fight Night 109 press conference, a do-over with “Bones” could be more tempting than a title fight, seeing as how Jon never actually lost the belt in a fight.

“Jones is one of those fights I think everybody wants,” Gustafsson said via MMA Junkie. “It’s a hard choice because you have the belt, and you have Jones. Jones is a true champ in my eyes (because he never lost the belt in the octagon). There’s no one like him, and to beat him would be as big as being the world champ.”

I’m sure Daniel Cormier would disagree. Speaking of which, Gustaffson also came up short against “DC” — the current division champion — at UFC 192, so there’s that.

Then again, once could see the intrigue in a fight between Jones and Gustafasson, especially give the fact that their initial encounter was one of the best fights in the history of the sport.

Still, Gustafsson has his focus all on his upcoming challenge against Glover Teixeira, as the two men will head line UFC Fight Night 109 on May 28, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. A win over “Hands of Stone” won’t guarantee him a shot at the strap, or a rematch with Jones, but it could inch him closer.

But the chances of latter going down are better than ever now that Jones is nearing a return to the Octagon.

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