For the first time in exactly 17 months, arguably the UFC’s best fighter graces the Octagon again as Jon”Bones” Jones has his highly anticipated rematch against Alexander”The Mauler” Gustafsson for the light heavyweight championship at UFC 232. The former winner, Jones, won the first fight back at UFC 165 at 2013 and is a -300 favorite for this fight with all the challenger, Gustafsson, coming back in +230.
The chances are a lot tighter than they were the very first time that Jones and Gustafsson fought five years ago as Jones closed as a -800 favored because struggle with Gustafsson coming back in +550. The battle was really close with many thinking that the Sweden native edged from the New Yorker to claim the championship, but the judges saw it in favor of Jones to get a unanimous-decision victory.
Many people would jump on the fact that Bones has tested positive for performance enhancers in two of his last 3 fights, both contrary to Daniel Cormier, and did not seem like himself when he was”clean” against Ovince Saint Preux. In the OSP fight, however, Jones outstruck his opponent 111-58 and landed three takedowns for a unanimous-decision triumph. The other area of concern is a long layoff for the former champ but that isn’t a element in this struggle as Gustafsson has been out longer than Jones coping with injuries. I think the opening chances are where they ought to be and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the line move a bit in Gustafsson’s favor.
Recently, Jones had a test that showed some turinabol, the substance that he was suspended for 15 months for, nevertheless in his substance. The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not have enough time to examine all the science supporting this so the struggle was moved to The Forum in Inglewood, California as their commission was dealing with this medication as it pertains to Jones for the last year and a half. USADA has stated that this wasn’t a new ingestion of the banned substance and are letting him compete.
Slimming down Jones vs Gustafsson II
Jones (-300) is an extremely creative and talented fighter, using a high-level battle IQ along with above-average wrestling. Bones has shown on a few occasions (his first fight vs Gustafsson) that the heart of a champion as he has survived a lot of damage but continues pushing ahead en route to a 22-1 record with his only loss being a disqualification. The 31-year-old’s final bout saw him knock Daniel Cormier out with a head kick, however, the struggle was overturned into a no contest after a failed drug test.
Gustafsson (+230) is an exceptional boxer with fantastic cardio who doesn’t have a problem rising to the event. As mentioned above, his first scrap with Jones was an epic war which left many wondering whose hands would be raised at the end of the 25 minutes. The Mauler put at a similar effort against Daniel Cormier at UFC 192, but once again came up empty-handed. The Sweden native just has two other losses on his record, a submission loss to Phil Davis in his second UFC fight and a knockout in the hands of the ever-dangerous Anthony Johnson in 2015. The 31-year-old hasn’t entered the Octagon because his dominant knockout victory over Glover Teixeira in May of 2017.
Jon outstruck Gustafsson 137-114 in their first meeting while every fighter landed a takedown. Both fighters were left bruised, battered and bloodied however, it was Jones who left with his hand raised. Ever since, The Mauler has been calling for a rematch while Bones went on to conquer three other challengers, including Daniel Cormier twice.
It’ll be interesting to see what developments every fighter has made over the last year and a half. Of course, Gustafsson has been dealing with injuries, while Jones was working on his craft while on suspension. The New York native said he did not train for his first bout with the Sweden native and that’s the reason why it was so snug. We’ll find out whether he had been telling the truth on December 29 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to get UFC 232.
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