ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON (RECORD: 18-4, +235 UNDERDOG, POWER RANKING: A)
The fight game of gustafsson begins with his span. At 6-foot-5 and a 79-inch reach, he’s second only to Jones in the branch in regards to length of light heavyweight’s top fighters. Gustafsson has some of the best footwork from the division. He uses that in combination with a high IQ boxing art. He has excellent hand speed and will be the best fighter at the division with his ability to throw and join mixes. He doesn’t have the energy that most of the top light heavyweights have, but he makes up for it with his high work rate, landing 4.18 significant strikes per minute. His ground game is certainly not his strength, but he’s excellent takedown defense at 85 percent. In a combined 50 minutes at the cage together with Cormier and Jones, he was only taken down two.
JON JONES (RECORD: 22-1-1, -255 FAVORITE, FIGHTER GRADE: A++)
The time that is long Jackson’s MMA merchandise is the very best fighter in the world for a lot of reasons. To begin, physically he is very gifted because his 84.5″ inch reach is right near the top of the sport. Jones uses his span very well. He lands a whopping 2.29 significant strikes a minute more than that he absorbs. He places him right near the very top of this UFC in that respect. He combines that with 95% takedown defense. He mixes that defensive prowess having a creative striking game by means of a lot of unorthodox kicks.
On the floor, Jones has as barbarous of earth and pound as anybody in MMA. He delivers vicious elbows at prime controller and is capable of completing in any struggle from that position. If there’s any weakness in Jones’ match, it’s lack of big-time power.
In a rematch of the greatest battles in the history of the UFC, Jones will once again look to become the light heavyweight champion of the world because he takes on one of his biggest competitions in Gustafsson. Both fighters are coming from extensive layoffs, so off the bat there are several question marks on ring rust and when there has been any regression in abilities. What’s more, the struggle being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on less than fourteen days’ notice forcing changes fight week prep generates more innuendo around the bout. With both fighters affected, one must handicap that aspect a wash and look at it strictly from a competitive perspective.
Though the sample size is modest, Jones has had maybe his main battles with long, rangy fighters. The toughest fight of his career was his first battle with Gustafsson. The Swede landed 110 significant strikes in that bout compared to the 134 landed by the American. Bearing that in mind, Gustafsson threw 71 more important strikes during the struggle. Gus was more busy, but Jones landed the bigger, more meaningful punches especially in the later rounds. Since Jones has added more muscle because this bout, expect electricity to be even more of a factor in this bout. Gustafsson will have optimism from that first battle, however, the X Factor is Jones’ increased power permitting him to land more devastating blows.
This should be another classic, but Gustafsson’s lack of a single punch knockout power is going to be his undoing as Jones is going to be able to take control in stretching knocking Gustafsson backwards. In the long run, anticipate this bout to go to the scorecards with Jones once more continuing his enormous run at the peak of the light heavyweight division.
Prediction: Jones by decision +225 is the best play on this fight.
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