Following UFC 165’s incredible main event it appeared the UFC would be booking a rematch rather quickly. Alas, the UFC and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones elected to forgo the rematch with Alexander Gustafsson in favor of facing Glover Teixeira. While the move seemed to bug many who believe the rematch needs to happen sooner than later, one has to remember their are multiple factors involved with the decision.
Chief among these reasons is that FOX Sports has put a lot of pressure on the UFC to make their annual Super Bowl card a FOX card due to the Super Bowl being on the network. While that is not a certainty, the UFC moving the card from Vegas to Newark seems to indicate what they are leaning towards. With Jones likely owning a solid PPV bonus it would not make a lot of sense for him to forfeit the potential revenue on what could be the biggest PPV of next year by placing the rematch on network TV. Of course, by delaying the rematch and having both Jones and Gustafsson fight different opponents is certainly a gamble, but it is one that could pay off big if it works out.
The UFC does not have a lot of potentially great PPV fights currently on the horizon in 2013 and the UFC could use the Jones and Gustafsson rematch to help bolster that lineup. All of this is dependent on jones and Gustafsson beating their respective opponents of course, but the FOX exposure for Jones combined with a larger audience aching for the rematch could give the UFC a badly needed windfall PPV in 2014. All of this helps to explain the UFC’s decision to take a gamble and go for the long play rather than the quick turn around.
Speaking of Jones vs. Gustafsson, it is time to allay the argument that the Swede was robbed. There is a terrible tendency amongst MMA fans to call a fight a "robbery" when the reality is that the fight was just close. This was a brutally close fight, particularly rounds 2&3, and I had a hard time judging both rounds even when I replayed the fight multiple rounds. Also, there is no issue with a 49-46 score in a fight with multiple close rounds because a judge scores a fight round-by-round. I have seen blowouts correctly scored 48-47 and incredibly close 50-45 fights. Gustafsson came close, like fourth round elbow barrage close, but he was unable to win and that does not make it a robbery. To call it one diminishes the greatness of what was arguably one of the best fights in the UFC's history.
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