Apparently, Alexander Gustafsson is deep in Jon Jones’s head.
Gustafsson had described Jones as “not a good person” or a real champion during a press conference over the weekend, and also said he is rooting for Jones’S opponent Daniel Cormier in their July 29 title fight. Jones got wind of these comments and took to Twitter late Wednesday night for a rebuttal.
“I’m not a champion cuz I’m a bad person? You’re not a champion because you don’t win championship fights,” Jones tweeted. He then followed up with “I’m not a champion because you don’t like my personality? F— you, lol.”
Gustafsson fought two closely fought and memorable championship fights against Jones and Cormier in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Gustafsson lost by decision both times but finds himself back in the title picture after dismantling Glover Teixeira in Stockholm last Sunday. Following the Teixeira fight, Gustafsson credited his improved cardio for securing the fifth round stoppage and for why a rematch with Jones or Cormier might go differently. “And here’s a little FYI,” Jones responded. “You didn’t lose against DC and I because of your cardio, it was because your lack of heart.”
It wasn’t all negativity from Jones, though. Gustafsson proposed to his girlfriend in the cage following the Teixeira fight and Jones did manage to slip in a congratulatory tweet – sort of.
“Jon Jones is a bad person’ You sound like a f—ing dork. Congrats on the engagement, though. Beautiful woman.”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Jones has had an insecurity regarding Gustafsson ever since they fought and many felt that Gustafsson won the fight. When many were clamoring for a rematch, Jones would act dismissive of the idea and would refer to Gustafsson as “that kid,” refusing to acknowledge him by name. Since then, Jones has given him a little more credit for giving him his toughest fight, but there is clearly some animosity still there. Jones-Gustafsson 2 is a fight that has to happen someday, hopefully with a title on the line, but it seems inevitable that we will get it sooner or later. Normally, I would say that a late night Twitter tirade isn’t a good sign of a fighter’s discipline and focus on an upcoming fight, but we know that Jones has done far worse than tweet much closer to his fights and still put out impressive performances, so I’m not any more worried about Jones’s mental state than I already was.
THURSDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Sunday’s UFC Fight Night live daytime airing averaged 496,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1. The show peaked for the main event at 665,000 viewers. The viewership is well below typical Fight Night averages, but airing on a holiday weekend during the day from a foreign market was going to result in a below average number.
-Vitor Belfort has gone from proclaiming his fight against Nate Marquardt this weekend would be his retirement fight, to saying that it will be his last fight for UFC, and now MMA Fighting has reported that Belfort still has fights left on his UFC contract. Belfort is free to retire if he chooses, but he will need to be released by UFC or fight out his contract if he wants to go elsewhere.
-Dana White appeared on the UFC Unfiltered podcast and was critical of Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson for not wanting to grant a title shot to T.J. Dillashaw, who would be moving down from bantamweight. White was blunt with his thoughts on the prospect. “Unfortunately for D.J., you don’t make the fights around here,” he said (via MMA Junkie). “I do. (Johnson vs. Dillashaw is) the fight we’re pushing for.”
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUND-UP
-Ion Cutelaba vs. Henrique da Silva and “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim vs. Thibault Gouti at UFC Fight Night Auckland on June 11 (June 10 in North America).
-Megan Anderson vs. Helena Kolesnyk for the Invicta FC featherweight championship at Invicta FC 24 on July 15 from Kansas City, Mo.
-Dustin Ortiz vs. Hector Sandoval at UFC Fight Night Mexico City on Aug. 5.
Check out Aldo vs. Mendes 2 in a classic from October 2014.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/31: GSP says fighting Bisping this summer was never an option to due eye injury (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)