UFC 165: Jon Jones (-900) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (+700)
Jones (18-1) is the best mixed martial artist in the world and he is the reigning and defending UFC light heavyweight champion.
Currently riding a nine-fight win streak since a controversial DQ loss to Matt Hamill in 2009, Jones can break the record for 205-pound title defenses if he gets through Gustafsson this weekend. And the 26-year-old American really should, as he’s just a more complete fighter than Gustafsson at this point in time with his unique mix of unorthodox strikes, crafty submissions, and a ridiculous reach that makes it nearly impossible for opponents to hit him.
Against Gustafsson, Jones will be taking on the tallest opponent of his career and the UFC is marketing the fight on the strength of that angle, but it doesn’t matter how tall Gustafsson is because Jones is just that damn good.
Gustafsson (15-1) is one of the top light heavyweights in the sport and earned his title shot with wins over the likes of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Thiago Silva and James Te Huna.
The 26-year-old has good boxing, he circles very well in the cage with his top-notch footwork, and he also has a nifty submission game. He’s big, strong and young and he trains alongside Phil Davis — the only man to ever defeat him — which has really helped improve his wrestling.
But against Jones, Gustafsson is walking into a trap, because outside of a fluke punch or an in-fight injury to Jones I don’t think he has what it takes to dethrone the champion. Although I am a big fan of “The Mauler,” I really believe this is a terrible matchup for him and I don’t think he has what it takes to win. But we’ll see on Saturday night if he does.
Jones will take the fight to the ground and then he will beat Gustafsson’s face in with his elbows, possibly even opening up the cut that caused the Swede to miss his fight against Gegard Mousasi earlier this year.
I think eventually he’s going to get the submission win, but it wouldn’t surprised me if he wins by TKO either. Regardless, Jones will win this fight, and it will be bloody.
Adam Martin writes for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.
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