ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON (RECORD: 18-4, +235 UNDERDOG, POWER RANKING: A)
Gustafsson’s battle game begins with his length. In 6-foot-5 along with a 79-inch hit, he’s second only to Jones at the division in regards to length of light heavyweight’s best fighters. Gustafsson has some of the best footwork in the branch. He uses that in combination with a high IQ boxing prowess. He’s got excellent hand speed and is the best boxer in the division together with his ability to throw and connect mixes. He does not have the energy that the majority of the top light heavyweights have, but he makes up for it with his high work rate, landing 4.18 considerable strikes per minute. His ground game is surely not his strength, but he has excellent takedown defense at 85 percent. In a joint 50 minutes in the cage with Cormier and Jones, he was only taken down two.
JON JONES (RECORD: 22-1-1, -255 FAVORITE, FIGHTER GRADE: A++)
The time Jackson’s MMA merchandise is the very best fighter in the world for many reasons. To begin, physically he is very gifted because his 84.5″ inch reach is right near the top of the game. Jones uses his span very well. He lands a whopping 2.29 significant strikes a second more than he absorbs. That places him right near the very top of this UFC in that regard. He combines that with 95 percent takedown defense. He blends that defensive prowess having a creative striking game using a lot of unorthodox kicks.
On the ground, Jones has as brutal of earth and pound as anybody in MMA. He delivers barbarous elbows in top controller and is capable of completing in any fight from that position. If there’s any weakness in Jones’ game, it is lack of big-time power.
In a rematch of the greatest battles in the history of the UFC, Jones will once more look to develop into the light heavyweight champion of the world because he takes on one of his main competitions in Gustafsson. Both fighters are coming from extensive layoffs, so off the bat there are several question marks on ring rust and if there’s been some regression in skills. What’s more, the fight being transferred from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on less than fourteen days’ notice forcing changes struggle week prep generates even more innuendo around the bout. With both fighters affected, one must handicap that aspect a clean and look at it strictly from a competitive standpoint.
Though the sample size is modest, Jones has had maybe his biggest struggles with long, rangy fighters. The fight of his career was his first fight with Gustafsson. The Swede landed 110 significant strikes because bout compared to this 134 landed by the American. Bearing that in mind, Gustafsson threw 71 more significant strikes during the struggle. Gus was certainly more active, but Jones landed the larger, more purposeful punches particularly in the subsequent rounds. Since Jones has more muscle since that bout, expect electricity to become more of a factor in this bout. Gustafsson will have confidence from that very first fight, but the X Factor is Jones’ increased power allowing him to land more devastating blows.
This should be another classic, but Gustafsson’s shortage of a single punch knockout power is going to be his undoing as Jones is going to have the ability to take control in stretches knocking Gustafsson backwards. In the long run, expect this bout to go to the scorecards with Jones once again continuing his tremendous run at the peak of the light heavyweight division.
Prediction: Jones by choice +225 is your best play on this fight.