Alexander Gustafsson doesn’t like the appearance that Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is possibly getting a free pass for a positive cocaine test.
“It’s really bad for the sport, bad for the organization,” Gustafsson said. “He’s a role model and if he doesn’t suffer consequences, people think it’s OK to do 'Coke.' "
The 6-foot-5 Gustafsson (16-2) gave Jones (21-1) likely his toughest fight, the champion escaping in September 2013 with a narrow but unanimous decision.
Gustafsson said he hasn’t been told anything new from UFC officials and still assumes he’ll be fighting for Jones’ belt again, in July, as long as he defeats Anthony Johnson on Jan. 24 in a Fox-televised bout from his home country, in Stockholm.
“They said the winner of this will fight for the title,” Gustafsson said Tuesday at a lunch in Los Angeles, where he took a brief break from training in Chula Vista.
Jones successfully defended his light-heavyweight belt for an eighth consecutive time Jan. 3 in a unanimous-decision triumph over Daniel Cormier.
Jones was announced to have tested positive for the main metabolite of cocaine afterward, but since the positive sample was taken on Dec. 4, and considered an out-of-competition street drug without sufficient performance-enhancing effects by the World Anti-Doping Agency code, the Nevada State Athletic Commission cited WADA’s position and allowed Jones to fight.
UFC President Dana White told the company's broadcast partner Fox Sports 1 last week that he was aware of Jones' test result before the fight.
Nevada’s commission decided at a Tuesday meeting to form a committee to assess whether Jones – or another fighter in a related episode -- should face discipline or be stopped from fighting in future cases.
Jones’ mother told a New York television reporter that her son stayed just one day in a drug treatment facility and plans to attend the New England Patriots AFC Championship game in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday. Jones' brother, Chandler, plays for the Patriots.
Gustafsson said he didn’t believe Jones should have been stopped from fighting.
“Jones did good in that fight, he should get credit for that. That [cocaine] is nothing that could’ve changed the fight,” Gustafsson said.
The 27-year-old, after stopping Jimi Manuwa by strikes in the second round in March, now faces the UFC’s third-ranked light-heavyweight Johnson (18-4), who beat Gustafsson’s training partner Phil Davis by unanimous decision in April.
“I’m a better fighter than [Johnson], I’ve got too many tools for him,” Gustafsson said. “He’s a hell of a force, but he’s one-dimensional. Doesn’t move a lot. Comes in hard, throws the left kick, left hook, straight right … not afraid of his wrestling at all. I’ll cover my face up, not going to let him hit me. I need to bring my ‘A’ game and I will. Fighting in my backyard … .”
Davis (13-2) is on the Jan. 24 card against Ryan Bader, and said he hopes to impress enough to land a shot at former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who fights Nick Diaz on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
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