Gustafsson: You have to finish the champ to take his belt

September 23, 2013

Jon Bones Jones @JonnyBones
That fight was just what I needed

Prior to UFC 165 Saturday night, the only proven way to beat Jon Jones was to lay bleeding and pray for an illegal 12-6 elbow.

Alexander Gustafsson showed another path is within reach, and he very, very nearly walked it to the title.

During the UFC 165 post show on Fox Sports 2 Gustafsson was the epitome of respect, as he called for an immediate rematch.

“I learned a lot from this fight," said 'The Mauler.' "He's the champ for a reason. To take the belt from the champ you need to finish him. That's how it is and I didn't do it. The biggest lesson is I have to push the pace harder. I just did what I thought I could do and it wasn’t enough. I will come back stronger and better. I’m disappointed, but I’m very proud of what I did and my team.”

And Gustafsson is enthusiastic about the prospect of a rematch, but was not demanding.

"Absolutely, I'm down whenever,'' said Gustafsson. "I want a rematch right away, if I can. It's up to the UFC. I'm just blessed to be fighting in the UFC. I believe it's an honor to fight Jones and I'll be ready whenever they call me."

What do you think UG?
•Was the unanimous judges' decision one you agree with?
•Should Gustafsson get an immediate rematch?
•Do you have to finish the champ to take his title?