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Alexander Gustafsson will receive the next crack at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones this fall at UFC 165.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the rumored pairing on Thursday via Twitter, responding to a fan’s tweet indicating that Jones and Gustafsson would meet sometime this fall. UFC officials then revealed that the light heavyweight title showdown will headline UFC 165, which takes place Sept. 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Jones, 25, last defended his belt on April 27, when he stopped fellow “Ultimate Fighter 17” coach Chael Sonnen with a barrage of first-round strikes. “Bones” sustained a grotesque dislocation to his left big toe during the bout, however, and was placed on the sideline in order to heal the injury. Jones captured the light heavyweight championship from Mauricio Rua in 2011 and successfully defended the strap against former champions Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort before besting Sonnen at UFC 159.
Gustafsson, meanwhile, was expected to square off against ex-Strikeforce titlist Gegard Mousasi on April 6 but saw that UFC on Fuel TV 9 booking derailed after suffering a last-minute cut at the end of his training camp.
The Swede has lost just once as a pro, submitting to a Phil Davis anaconda choke three years ago. Since that defeat, “The Mauler” has won six straight fights and was last seen taking a unanimous decision from Rua this past December at UFC on Fox 5.