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 at UFC 232. The former winner, Jones, won the first battle back at UFC 165 at 2013 and is a -300 favored with this fight with all the challenger, Gustafsson, coming back in +230.
The odds are a lot tighter than they had been the very first time that Jones and Gustafsson fought over five decades back as Jones closed as a -800 favorite in that struggle with Gustafsson coming back at +550. The fight was really close with many believing 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 success.
Many people will jump on the fact that Bones has tested positive for performance enhancers in just two of his last three fights, both against Daniel Cormier, also did not look like himself when he had been”clean” against Ovince Saint Preux. From the OSP fight, though, Jones outstruck his rival 111-58 and landed three takedowns for a unanimous-decision triumph. The other area of concern is that a long layoff to the former champ but that isn’t a factor in this struggle as Gustafsson has been out more than Jones coping with accidents. I believe that the opening odds are right where they ought to be and I would not be surprised to find the line move just a bit in Gustafsson’s favor.
Lately, Jones had a test that revealed some turinabol, the substance that he had been suspended for 15 months for, still in his substance. The Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t have sufficient time to examine all the science behind this so the struggle was transferred to The Forum in Inglewood, California because their commission has been dealing with this drug when it comes to Jones for the previous year and a half. USADA has stated this was not a brand new ingestion of the banned substance and therefore are letting him compete.
Slimming down Jones vs Gustafsson II
Jones (-300) is a very creative and gifted fighter, employing a high-level fight IQ combined with above-average wrestling. Bones has shown to several occasions (his first battle vs Gustafsson) that the heart of a winner as he’s endured a great deal of harm but continues pushing forward 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 using a head kick, but the fight was overturned to a no contest following a failed drug test.
Gustafsson (+230) is an 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 that left many wondering whose hand would be raised in 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 and a knockout at the hands of this ever-dangerous Anthony Johnson in 2015. The 31-year-old has not entered the Octagon since his dominant knockout victory over Glover Teixeira in May of 2017.
Jon outstruck Gustafsson 137-114 within 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 has been calling for a rematch while Bones went on to conquer three other challengers, such as Daniel Cormier twice.
It will be interesting to see what improvements every fighter has made during 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 is the reason why it was so close. We will find out if he was telling the truth on December 29 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 232.
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