Congratulations @jonnybones I’m really glad u are back! @dc_mma is aiming for Brock.. so let’s give the fans another legendary fight for the belt @ufc @danawhite @ Allstars Training… https://t.co/bVhqjxZmLG— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) September 20, 2018
Last week, Jon Jones was given a ruling by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and a time table to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon, and one familiar name promptly offered to welcome him back.
Jones was handed a greatly reduced 15-month suspension for testing positive for anabolic steroid Turinabol. The suspension started from his retroactive date of July 28 of last year, which makes Jones eligible to fight again on Oct. 28.
With the announcement of Jones’ return, it didn’t take long for someone to call him out. Former opponent Alexander Gustafsson took to Twitter right after the announcement to attempt to coerce the former champion into a rematch. Gustafsson challenged the returning "Bones" to a fight for the light heavyweight belt, likely on the assumption that two-division champ Daniel Cormier would not be defending it before retirement.
Jones didn’t respond to the Swede so he tried his hand again:
Gustafson and Jones met in 2013 at UFC 165, where they engaged in one of the best light heavyweight title fights of all-time. “The Mauler” gave Jones arguably his toughest test that night with “Bones” taking the win via unanimous decision.
Jones’ next opponent is still unclear, as his bitter rival Cormier now holds both the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight and heavyweight belts. Cormier has announced his plans to retire next March and has already accepted a heavyweight title defense against former UFC heavyweight champ and World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Brock Lesnar early next year.
The timing of Jones' ruling and eligibility to compete caused many to speculate that the Endicott, New York native might make a return at UFC 230, which takes place on Nov. 3 in New York City. However, at last week's press conference for UFC 229, UFC President Dana White denied that was a possibility.