Yesterday the UFC formally announced that Jon Jones would defend his UFC lightheavyweight title against Alexander Gustafson in September. MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani caught up with Jones yesterday to get his first comments on the fight:
After Lyoto Machida beat Dan Henderson in February, he was told he would be next to fight you, so why are you fighting Gustafsson instead?
I'm really not sure. That was Dana White's call.
Didn't you tell the UFC that Gustafsson presented a new challenge for you since you beat Machida at UFC 140?
Yeah, that definitely happened. I beat Lyoto already. Ultimately, it was Dana's decision to match me up with Gustafsson and not Machida, but I did mention to Dana that I had already defeated Lyoto, and the UFC 140 pay-per-view numbers were pretty terrible. If you have a perfectly healthy, young contender who is on a rampage, why not keep new opponents, new excitement for the fans?
You wrote on Twitter that you think this will be your toughest fight. Why?
I don't think he will be my toughest fight, but I need to have that psychology. I realize that he is a young man who is close to realizing a dream. You know, a lot of the guys I have fought have already had title shots before, but this is his very first title shot. I'm sure he's going to be extremely motivated.
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