MMA Oddsbreaker First Look: Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson

Jon Jones SquatThe UFC announced that Jon Jones will defend his light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson in the headline match at UFC 165. The announcement will put a temporary halt to the speculation about Jones being involved in super fights or moving up a weight class. Gustafsson is a tall, very well rounded fighter who has won six in a row and is 15-1 overall. Gustafsson was booked to headline a UFC card in Sweden against Gegard Mousasi earlier this year, but a cut suffered in training by Gustaffson prevented him from being cleared to fight. Gustafsson will be a pretty big underdog in this fight, despite his pedigree and resume. Gustafsson has used his height and reach to his advantage in recent fights, showing a solid stand up game. Unfortunately for Gustafsson, height and reach will not be an advantage for him against Jon Jones. The champion will be faster, stronger and more explosive than Gustafsson. Gustafsson has never been in a five round fight before, however his conditioning has not really been an issue and he will be there if the fight lasts. The question is, how many rounds is Jon Jones going to need? The champ went the distance in a slow fight with Rashad Evans. But he has finished everybody and has turned into a dominant champion at 205 lbs. Though his last fight with Chael Sonnen was considered an easy match for him, he did emerge with a nearly severed toe. The toe could be an x-factor, as we don’t know if it is an injury that might pop up again in training or in a fight. It would serve Gustafsson well to keep the fight standing, where he might be able to slow down the pace and steal rounds. Jones however, is an aggressive and unorthodox striker who will probably come right after Gustafsson and force the pace. If he chooses to, Jones can take it to the ground, and at that point, Gustafsson will be in bottom position. Gustafsson has good jiu jitsu, but Jones is unlikely to give him much of a chance to use it. Gustafsson is a worthy opponent, and he could get lucky in the striking department and take Jones out. Jones could also conceivably come out flat and have an off day, in which case the Swede is very capable of taking him out. It is a measure of how dominant Jones has been as champion that an opponent as skilled as Gustafsson is basically going to have to get lucky to win.

Written by Miguel

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