For the first time in just 17 months, arguably the UFC’s greatest fighter graces the Octagon again as Jon»Bones» Jones has his highly anticipated rematch against Alexander»The Mauler» Gustafsson for the light heavyweight championship in UFC 232. The former winner, Jones, won the first fight back at UFC 165 at 2013 and can be a -300 favorite with this fight with all the challenger, Gustafsson, coming back in +230.
The chances are a lot tighter than they were the first time that Jones and Gustafsson fought five decades ago as Jones closed as a -800 favored in that fight with Gustafsson coming back at +550. The fight was extremely close with many believing that the Sweden native edged from the New Yorker to claim the tournament, but the judges saw it in favor of Jones to get a unanimous-decision victory.
A lot of people will jump on that Bones has tested positive for performance enhancers in just two of his last three fights, both against Daniel Cormier, and didn’t seem like himself if he had been»clean» against Ovince Saint Preux. From the OSP fight, though, Jones outstruck his opponent 111-58 and landed three takedowns for a unanimous-decision triumph. Another area of concern is that a long layoff for the former champ but that is not a factor in this struggle as Gustafsson has been out longer than Jones coping with accidents. I believe the opening odds are where they ought to be and that I would not be surprised to see the line move just a bit in Gustafsson’s favor.
Lately, Jones had a test that revealed a few 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 review all of the science supporting this so the struggle was moved to The Forum in Inglewood, California because their commission has been coping with this drug when it comes to Jones for the previous year and a half. USADA has stated that this wasn’t a brand new ingestion of the prohibited substance and therefore are allowing him to compete.
Slimming down Jones vs Gustafsson II
Jones (-300) is a very creative and talented fighter, using a high-level fight IQ along with above-average wrestling. Bones has revealed to a few occasions (his first battle vs Gustafsson) that the center of a champion as he’s endured a lot of damage but continues pushing ahead en route to a 22-1 record together with his only loss being a disqualification. The 31-year-old’s final bout saw him knock Daniel Cormier out using a head kick, but the struggle was overturned into a no contest following a failed drug test.
Gustafsson (+230) is a exceptional boxer with fantastic cardio who has no problem rising to the event. As mentioned above, his first scrap with Jones was an epic war which left many wondering whose hand could 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 additional losses on his record, a entry loss to Phil Davis in his next UFC fight along with a knockout at the hands of the ever-dangerous Anthony Johnson at 2015. The 31-year-old hasn’t entered the Octagon since 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 but it was Jones who left with his hands raised. Ever since, The Mauler was calling for a rematch while Bones went on to beat three other challengers, including Daniel Cormier twice.
It will be interesting to see what improvements every fighter has made during the previous year and a half. Obviously, Gustafsson has been coping with injuries, while Jones has been 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 why it was so close. We’ll find out if he had been telling the truth on December 29 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 232.
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