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Alexander Gustafsson: Jon Jones getting immediate title shot "wouldn't be fair"

Jon Jones crouches in his corner before facing Ovince Saint Preux in their interim UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 197 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The future of Jon Jones’ MMA career may be up in the air, but the lingering impression is that the former pound-for-pound champion will get a title fight upon his return. Both light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and top contender Anthony Johnson expressed their displeasure with UFC president Dana White’s insinuation – and now you can add the man who pushed Jones to the limit to that list.

“It wouldn’t be fair, giving him a title shot,” Alexander Gustafsson said on The MMA Hour. “I’m not saying I’m going to get it. I’m just saying, after everything that happened, it’s not fair to other fighters too, who’ve been working their asses off and they’ve been fighting each other. So, not a title shot right away. Just give him a fun fight first and that’s it.”

Gustafsson gave Jones all he could handle at UFC 165 in 2013. Jones won a unanimous decision but was battered and bloodied by Gustafsson throughout the fight. Since the Jones loss, Gustafsson has gone 2-2 and recently pulled out a unanimous decision against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 203 after dropping back-to-back fights to Cormier and Johnson.

Jones has been sidelined with a temporary suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission for his failed UFC 200 drug test that saw the former champion pulled out of a title fight with Cormier three days before the event. Jones is set to attend a disciplinary hearing in October to see what punishment will be levied, if any. However, White stated that Jones did not take the supplements (Hydroxy-clomiphene & Letrozole) indicated on his failed drug test and the punishment could be lessened significantly.

Gustafsson is interested in being the one who welcomes Jones back to the UFC whenever he is able to return.

“I’m up for suggestions (for my next opponent), so why not?” Gustafsson said. “But let’s see what they say. I’m up for suggestions, so whatever they give me, I’m down with. A second fight with Jones, who knows. It’s going to be good though.”

As for Jones, he certainly does have his sights set on a title fight. However, the title he is interested in could be the UFC heavyweight title that Stipe Miocic defended Saturday at UFC 203. Jones has teased the possibility of moving up to the heavyweight division before, and now it appears that “Bones” is open to the opportunity should it present itself.

“If it was for the actual title I would totally do it,” Jones said on Twitter. “I’m starting to realize the hype is real with (Miocic). He’s legit, (it) would be the challenge of a lifetime.”

Perhaps Cormier, Johnson and Gustafsson have nothing to worry about after all.

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