Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Early Fight Breakdown

UFC 165 will play host to a Light-Heavyweight title match in it’s main event, longstanding champion Jon Jones will look to continue his domination as he takes on the highly touted Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden.

Bones will not enjoy as much of a height advantage against the taller Gus, but his reach (84.5 inches) still will play a huge factor. Gustafsson’s 76.5 inches will have to be utilized with excellent timing and technique, or he could suffer a long and brutal evening.

First off let’s look at the striking: Both guys hold nine knockout victories each, but Jones has been more inclined to submission wins of late. Until TKOing Chael Sonnen at UFC 159, Bones had only actually scored one TKO win in the two years prior.

Gustafsson has also looked to knock guys out in the past, but more recently his fights have gone to the decision. In the power department it is pretty even, but technique will likely be the difference here. I’d suggest that Jones has too much of a diverse array in the striking department; elbows, kicks, spinning sh*t (to quote Professor Diaz) and rangy striking help make Jones a nightmare at range.

Gustafsson needs to close the distance but also be aware of Bones’ nasty inside elbows, something I’m sure will not be easy. One thing that not may opponents have tried is workin Jones’ legs. Good movement and hard outside kicks could nullify his striking arsenal. I’d give Jones a 65/35 advantage in the stand up striking game.

Next up is wrestling, and Gus is going to struggle in this department in my opinion. Jones is a high school and collegiate All-American wrestler, and his strength in that department is yet to be bested. He has never been taken down in pro-MMA, even having faced such high calibre wrestlers as Chael Sonnen, Matt Hamill, Ryan Bader and Rashad Evans.

Gustafsson’s wrestling has improved following his loss against Phil Davis in 2010, but will it be enough to stop Bones’ shoot? No not in my opinion. 70/30 in Jones’ favour.

Last up is submissions, and this is a close call for me. Although Jones has six submission wins, I actually think Gus is the technically better grappler. A BJJ purple belt and a legit submission grappling championship provide Gus with an edge.

Although Gus only holds three sub wins, I feel like his grappling experience will out play Jones. Bones usually jumps on a quick sub to finish an out struck foe, where as Gus would probably win in an all out scramble on the mat. I’d say its 60/40 for Gus on the ground, it is one hell of a mountain for Gus to climb.


8 Comments

  1. Avatar of D

    D

    September 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Woah.

    Collegiate All-American? He was JUNIOR college champion. Those are not the same.

    I agree with you that he has the advantage in the wrestling department though.

    • Avatar of N.C.

      N.C.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      I think we all got what he was saying. Jackson has a talent of taking good wrestlers and making them great.

      Either way, ya, Gus I see spending a lot of time on his back once he lands a few shots on jones. I expect a sub win for jones in the early rounds personally.

  2. Avatar of Endo

    Endo

    September 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    At the press conference Gusty said his reach was 81 and that the official figure for his reach is incorrect. So it's actually only a few inches difference. Gusty's really good and far more likeable than Jones but he's not winning this fight. He's one of the potential 205 kingpins if Jones moves up though.

    • Avatar of falcon4917

      falcon4917

      September 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Interesting that his reach has been wrong for years and not corrected until now. Regardless he has still a reach disadvantage of 3.5 inchesish. I know people are saying the reach should be measured at the shoulder and not the total wingspan but i disagree with that as any torso twist will give a reach adavantage to the guy with the broader shoulders as his shoulders will span farther and therefore when turned reach farther. I don't know any even half a*sed fighters that don't twist for their strikes. Boxing 101 back in the day for me was twisting to gain reach and power. Broad shoulders are just as valuable as armpit to knuckle reach.

    • Avatar of InfiniteEnigma

      InfiniteEnigma

      September 16, 2013 at 5:22 am

      i dont get it . how do stats come up wrong. i have seen it consistently with height and reach , and sometimes true weight. you are either 6'1 or not….you have a 75 in. reach or something else. how do stats get wronged ?

      • Avatar of Endo

        Endo

        September 16, 2013 at 6:15 am

        I have no idea how it's wrong. I suppose the measurement was taken when he was younger and him and his camp realise that stats have no effect on the fight and didn't bother contesting/changing it until people starting bringing it up?

  3. Avatar of HATEOCRACY

    HATEOCRACY

    September 15, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Likable??? F**k Bridget Neilson Jr. Jr. I hope Jones go for the jaw breakage.

  4. Avatar of alvarez

    alvarez

    September 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Two words: Auto-Spell!!!

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