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A light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson has been set for UFC 178 on Sept. 27, possibly in Toronto on a previously announced UFC pay-per-view.
UFC officials announced the bout, a rematch of a fight of the year candidate in 2013, late Thursday evening.
The UFC had previously targeted the fight for Aug. 30 in Las Vegas, but Jones (20-1) requested a later date so he could attend his brother's wedding.
"I didn't want to go this early and I would have preferred to go later in October or November," Jones said. "It is what it is. We have a date now, Sept. 27. This was a personal decision for me. I will be at my brother's wedding and have a proper training camp."
Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White said Jones had requested to face Daniel Cormier, not Gustafsson, in his next title defense. The two sides met in Las Vegas on Thursday, where Jones agreed to the rematch.
|Alexander Gustafsson (right) had Jon Jones in trouble a few times at UFC 165, but Jones won by unanimous decision to retain the light heavyweight title.|
"I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson," Jones stated. "There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight."
Jones, 26, is coming off a dominant unanimous decision over Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in April. Fighting out of Endicott, N.Y., Jones has recorded seven consecutive title defenses, a UFC light heavyweight record.
Gustafsson (16-2) handed Jones the stiffest test of his career last September at UFC 165. The Swedish challenger came within one round of claiming the title, before ultimately losing a unanimous decision via scores of 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47.
Following the loss, Gustafsson rebounded in a second-round TKO over Jimi Manuwa in March.
Cormier (15-0) remains next in line to fight for the title, after recording a submission win over Dan Henderson at UFC 173 last month. The former U.S. Olympic wrestler has said he would like to wait for a title shot.
"This is the fight the fans want to see," White stated. "The great thing about this is we get Jones versus Gustafsson and, if Jones beats Gustafsson, we get Jones versus Cormier. Two great fights in the light heavyweight division with three of the baddest guys in the world."