UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson believes Jon Jones is the real champion over Daniel Cormier as despite his performance enhancing drug (PED) allegations, he has "destroyed" everyone.
Jones (22-1-1 record) made his highly-anticipated return to the octagon at UFC 214 in July earlier this year where he knocked out light heavyweight champion Cormier (19-1-1 record) in the third round via headkick and punches.
However, having just returned from a one-year suspension over a failed drug test, "Bones" failed another United States Doping Agency (USADA) drug test after the event as he tested positive for the banned substance Turinabol.
With his B sample coming back positive as well, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) overturned his win and gave the title back to Cormier, with Jones possibly facing a four-year suspension for being a multiple offender.
Gustafsson (18-4 record) lost to both Jones and "DC" via close decisions, and while he wants to face the latter for the belt, he believes the former is the real champion because of the manner in which he has stormed through his opponents.
"He has the belt, and I want to fight Cormier again for sure," Gustafsson told The MMA Hour. "I want the belt. But the real champion is Jon Jones, of course, because he has been destroying everybody in the division.
"Everything that he's done, nobody has done it before. So to me he is the real champion, but I do accept 'DC' a champion, too. He is a good guy, good fighter and the only guy he lost to is Jon Jones. He is the real deal and champion material."
As for Jones' latest failed drug test, the Swede is not surprised at all, having previously highlighted the absence of USADA as a reason why he lost his first encounter to the Endicott native.
However, "The Mauler" does feel sorry for the former light heavyweight champion and wants a rematch to settle the score.
"I wasn't shocked, I wasn't surprised. I feel sorry for him," he added. "What can I say? I just feel sorry for him. New things come up all the time and I am not surprised at all. I just feel sorry for him. It's bad for him, it's bad for the sport.
"Look, what he did to 'DC.' He's a beast and nobody has done what he's done. He's just getting caught over and over again. It must be something wrong there. You just don't do that if you ... he's just making wrong decision all the time and I feel sorry for him, basically.
"I want him back. I want to fight him at some point in the future. I want to fight him one more time. For that reason, I want him to come back. But, at the same time, he's been caught a lot of times and if he doesn't come back he doesn't come back. It's sad for the division, for the sport."