Jon Jones is the toast of the MMA world and, though many believe his impending opponent Rashad Evans has the strongest chance to beat him out of any other 205er, his reign at the top is forecast to be a long one.
At a recent press conference held to promote his battle with Evans, Jones was asked to assess the rise of promising light heavyweight prospect Alexander Gustafsson. The champion spoke well of the Swede, declaring him only a fight or two away from challenging him for the title.
“Alexander Gustafsson, I think he’s pretty close to a title shot,” said Jones. “I think maybe if he wins two more fights against some top guys — like maybe Lyoto, or maybe Rashad or somebody –- somebody that could push him in different categories. I’d like to see him against another wrestler and I’d like to see him against a worthy striker. Then a title shot would be very appropriate. …
“I like his demeanor though. He has some swagger. That kid has swagger. He exudes winning from the second he steps in the cage, I realized that about him. And I think the kid has the potential to be a star. Sweden just, they loved him. He just has it and I’m excited for him.”
Sitting near him, Rashad was quick to point out that Jones has an important piece of business to handle first before he should be worried about Alexander Gustafsson.
“Well, first you gotta win on Saturday to be excited for anybody,” said the challenger. “Let’s not forget about that little detail.”
(Jones and Evans get in some final pre-fight digs during a break in a media feed)
Jones and Evans will meet tomorrow night at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia in the main event of UFC 145. FightLine will be back with live, ongoing coverage of the fights, beginning with the preliminary card around 7p.m. ET/4p.m. PT.