A UFC light-heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson will headline UFC 165 in Toronto on Sept. 21 at the Air Canada Centre, the UFC announced Thursday.
This will mark the third time Jones has headlined a card in Toronto. The 25-year-old champion submitted Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 in December 2011 and then Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 last September.
The only UFC event in Toronto that Jones did not compete at was the first — UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre in April 2011 — though Jones was in attendance at that event cheering on headliner Georges St. Pierre.
Jones (18-1) is coming off a first-round TKO win over Chael Sonnen in the UFC 159 headliner in April. The Ithaca, N.Y., native severely broke his left big toe during the win and has since had surgery to repair it.
Gustafsson (15-1) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Mauricio (Shogun) Rua in April 2012, but has not competed since then. The 26-year-old was scheduled to headline a card on April 6 against Gegard Mousasi, but he suffered a cut over his eye in training and was not medically cleared.
The 6-foot-5 Swede has compete in seven different countries in his six-year MMA career, but this will be the first time he will compete in Canada.
Gustafsson’s lone loss was to fellow contender Phil Davis back at UFC 112 in April 2010, while Jones’ only loss was a disqualification due to downward elbows against Matt Hamill in December 2009.
Jones’ enormous reach of 84.5 inches is one of his most important assets, but with Gustafsson’s ability to control distance with his impressive footwork and the fact he’s one inch taller than Jones, Gustafsson could be the most interesting stylistic matchup Jones has faced in the UFC.
This will also be the first time Jones has fought a natural 205-pounder since he defeated Rashad Evans by unanimous decision at UFC 145 in April 2012. His previous two opponents, Sonnen and Belfort, are natural middleweights.
— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) May 25, 2013
No other bouts have been added to UFC 165 at this time.
UFC 165 will be the organization’s third event in Canada in 2013, following UFC 161 in Winnipeg, which takes place this Saturday at the MTS Centre. The event, the promotion’s first in Manitoba, is headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans.