For the first time in exactly 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 champion, Jones, won the first fight back at UFC 165 in 2013 and can be a -300 favorite for this struggle with all the challenger, Gustafsson, coming back in +230.
The odds are a lot tighter than they had been the first time that Jones and Gustafsson fought over five decades ago as Jones closed as a -800 favored because struggle with Gustafsson coming back in +550. The fight was extremely close with many thinking the Sweden native edged from the New Yorker to claim the tournament, but the judges saw it in favour of Jones to get a unanimous-decision victory.
A lot of people will jump on that Bones has tested positive for performance enhancers in two of his last 3 fights, both contrary to Daniel Cormier, also did not look like himself if he had been”clean” contrary to Ovince Saint Preux. From the OSP fight, however, Jones outstruck his opponent 111-58 and landed three takedowns to get a unanimous-decision triumph. Another area of concern is that a long layoff for the former champ but that isn’t a factor in this fight as Gustafsson has been out more than Jones dealing with injuries. I believe that the opening chances are where they should be and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the line move a bit in Gustafsson’s favor.
Lately, Jones had a test that showed some turinabol, the material he was suspended for 15 months for, nevertheless in his stuff. The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not have enough time to review all the science supporting this so the struggle was transferred to The Forum in Inglewood, California as their commission has been dealing with this drug when it comes to Jones for the previous year and a half. USADA has said this wasn’t a brand new ingestion of the prohibited substance and are allowing him to compete.
Breaking down Jones vs Gustafsson II
Jones (-300) is a very creative and talented fighter, employing a high-level fight IQ combined with above-average wrestling. Bones has revealed to a few occasions (his first battle vs Gustafsson) that the center of a winner as he’s endured a great deal of harm but continues pushing forward 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 with a head kick, however, the fight was overturned into a no contest after a failed drug test.
Gustafsson (+230) is an exceptional fighter with excellent cardio who has no problem rising to the occasion. As stated above, his initial scrap with Jones was an epic war that left many wondering whose hands could be raised at the end of their 25 minutes. The Mauler put at a similar attempt 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 second UFC fight along with a knockout in 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 hand 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 each fighter has made during the last year and a half. Of course, Gustafsson was 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 is the reason why it was so close. We will find out if 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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