Alexander Gustafsson appears to be unfazed by the last-minute change of venue for his light heavyweight championship fight.
On Sunday, Dana White announced that UFC 232 would be moving from Las Vegas to California on one week’s notice because the Nevada Athletic Commission declined to license Jon Jones for the event. A sample collected on Dec. 9 revealed trace elements of Turinabol metabolite, the same banned substance for which Jones tested positive in relation to UFC 2014 in July 2017. In this instance, it was determined that the ex-light heavyweight champion retained a small amount of that substance in his system from the previous failed drug test, which was why the event was transported to the West Coast at the last minute.
Given Jones’ history with failed drug tests, the news prompted plenty of skepticism throughout the UFC and the MMA community. Gustafsson took to Twitter to deliver his own message to Jones.
“Now we all understand why you didn’t take the [VADA] test,” Gustafsson wrote. “[You] can be on rocket fuel, [I’m] still gonna finish [you] Jon!”
Lol sure bud— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
Gustafsson is referencing the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) testing recommended by the California State Athletic Commission at Jones’ licensure hearing earlier this month. Ultimately, Jones and his team elected to bypass the additional testing.
Jones and Gustafsson will square off for the vacant 205-pound belt in the UFC 232 headliner at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Dec. 29. “Bones” defeated his Swedish rival in a thrilling five-round title fight in their initial meeting at UFC 165 in September 2013.