As you likely recall, the two fought at UFC on FOX 14 last month, and Johnson buzzed the MMA world by taking out Gustafsson in the opening round. With the impressive victory, Johnson locked up a title fight with Jones, but he also ensured Gustafsson won’t rematch “Bones” any time soon.
Gustafsson pushed Jones to his limits in September, 2013, but lost the memorable bout via unanimous decision. The Swedish star was supposed to fight Jones again last year, after he stopped Jimi Manuwa in March. But as Johnson noted on a “The MMA Hour” recently, a knee injury prevented that from happening (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I did because, I mean, we all knew what the deal was before the fight,” Johnson said during the interview, when asked if he felt bad for Gustafsson. “He was supposed to have his title shot and then he got injured, and then Jon and DC [Daniel Cormier] had their beef going on, so they let that fight continue, even though I think DC got hurt. And Alex should have had his title shot back then. It should have been Alex fighting instead of DC. But this is the UFC. This is their business so, they can do what they have to do. It’s Zuffa.
“It just seems like he’s been through Hell and back to get his rematch for a title, and he just didn’t get his opportunity again. I mean, I felt bad for him. So when he was crying, to me that’s what was going through my head. I was like damn, his dreams just got shot to hell. I just felt bad about it.”
Yes, one can understand why Johnson felt bad, especially when you consider that Gustafsson took the devastating loss in his home town of Stockholm.
Johnson went on to credit Jones for being the champ and a “crazy athlete,” but questioned whether the latter has faced someone with the type of KO power that he possesses. Jones-Johnson has yet to receive an official date, but the fight is expected to go down in May.
“Rumble” is heading into the title fight having won nine straight fights.