Jon Jones has been one of the most dominant champions the UFC has ever had, skill-wise and proved by his records. With five consecutive successful title defenses in the light heavyweight division, Jones has tied former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz in the league's record book.
At UFC 165, Jones will face a fighter who is considered by many as a good matchup for the champ in terms of size and reach, Alexander Gustafsson. The Swede has been on a tear lately, with six consecutive wins in the UFC, four of them coming via submission and technical knockout. He is six-foot five and has a reach of 76.5 inches, eight inches short of Jones' 84.5 inches reach.
So does Gustafsson stand a chance against the champ? The challenger has utilised great standup skills in his previous fights. He is the type of striker that uses a disciplined approach to his strikes. He was able to pick apart great strikers like Mauricio Rua and Thiago Silva on the feet using his style of striking. He is no slouch in the ground either. He has submission wins against James Te-Huna and Cyrille Diabaté, both coming via rear-naked choke.
With those, it is still hard to think that Jones will lose to the challenger. Jones's huge edge may be in the wrestling department. Proof of his grappling prowess is his fight against the very skilled wrestler, Chael Sonnen. In his defense of the light heavyweight title against Sonnen, the champ was able to take down the challenger at will, whenever he likes to take the action on the ground and whatever position they are at inside the cage. If Jones can take down Gustafsson in their battle at UFC 165, expect the champ to rain down some hard elbows, which might cause a fight stoppage.
Jones' unpredictable striking is also an X factor in this fight. The champ loves to surprise opponents with spinning back fists, elbows in the clinch and other unexpected blows. If he can catch the challenger with one of those, we might as well witness a knockout in their fight.
Clearly, the champ has the advantage in every aspect of the game and is clearly the favorite in this matchup. So the question now is, "Is Gustafsson bound to lose against Jones?" We'll see come fight night.
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