Jon Jones Vs. Gustafsson 2: Coming off a huge win over Glover Teixeira at UFC 172, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was all smiles and praises, but not in the mood to talk about Alexander Gustafsson or any details of their potential rematch later this year.
The same cannot be said, however, for UFC President Dana White.
At the post-fight scrum, White wasn’t certain about a potential timeline for the bout, but said it was being targeted for some time in 2014. “We gotta make sure [Jones]’ 100 percent healthy, he’s good,” White told the media. “Then we’ll time this thing out and plan it.”
The date might be all but confirmed, but the hype for the contest is definitely high. It’s one White confesses UFC management is already knee deep in planning and perceives as being one of the larger fights they stage this year.
“It’s a big one, man,” White said. “Me and Lorenzo [Fertitta] were talking about it tonight. It’s a big one. It has the potential to be huge and the gate on this thing’s going to be huge, too, depending on where we do it. Big fight. It is a big, massive fight.”
Another concern is where the UFC is considering placing it. All options are on the table and the bout could still be stateside, but one interesting twist would be to stage the fight in Sweden. Not only that, but according to White, if they were to do so, the bout would be part of the UFC’s second-ever stadium show.
“If we do it in Europe, this thing could do fifty, sixty-thousand seats or more,” White suggested.
So where would the fight air? White says a bout that big will air on pay-per-view, not free television despite taking place overseas. Europe, and anywhere outside of pay-per-view buying North America, is not traditionally the place where UFC pay-per-view events take place, as the time difference and other factors make staging them and selling them a major challenge.
White says that wouldn’t necessarily be an issue here.
“We would do it at the same time,” White explained. “At that time back [in Sweden], it’s light 24 hours a day or dark for an hour or something like that, so it would go at four o’clock in the morning [local time].”
The phenomenon, known as the midnight sun, is when the sunlight is visible at local midnight during summer hours in countries south of the Antarctic circle.
Sweden, however, is not a lock for where the fight would take place. White suggested the bout could also take place in Las Vegas, where the company would also expect a strong gate.
One issue White doesn’t anticipate is any resistance from Jones, even if the event is staged in Gustafsson’s proverbial backyard.
“Jon’s going to agree to whatever fight we make,” White argued. “What’s Jon going to agree to? Where does he want to fight, Seattle? Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. We don’t have ever people say, ‘This is where I’m going to fight my fight.'”