For the first time in just 17 months, arguably the UFC’s best 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 fight back in UFC 165 at 2013 and is a -300 favored with this struggle with the challenger, Gustafsson, coming back at +230.
Odds Analysis
The chances are a lot tighter than they had been the first time that Jones and Gustafsson fought over five decades ago as Jones closed as a -800 favored because fight with Gustafsson coming back at +550. The battle was really close with many thinking the Sweden native edged out the New Yorker to claim the tournament, but the judges saw it in favor of Jones for a unanimous-decision success.
Many people would jump on the fact that Bones has tested positive for performance enhancers at two of his last 3 fights, both against Daniel Cormier, and didn’t look like himself if he had been”clean” against Ovince Saint Preux. In the OSP struggle, however, Jones outstruck his rival 111-58 and landed three takedowns for a unanimous-decision triumph. Another area of concern is that a very long layoff to the former champ but that is not a factor in this fight as Gustafsson has been out more than Jones coping with accidents. I believe that the opening odds are where they should be and that I would not be surprised to see the line move a bit in Gustafsson’s favor.
Recently, Jones had a test that revealed some turinabol, the substance that he was suspended for 15 months for, still in his stuff. The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not have sufficient time to review all the science behind this so the fight was transferred to The Forum in Inglewood, California because their commission was dealing with this medication when it comes to Jones for the last year and a half. USADA has stated this wasn’t a new ingestion of this prohibited substance and are allowing him to compete.
Slimming down Jones vs Gustafsson II
Jones (-300) is an extremely creative and gifted fighter, employing a high-level battle IQ combined with above-average wrestling. Bones has revealed to a few occasions (his first fight vs Gustafsson) the center of a champion as he has endured a great deal of damage but continues pushing ahead 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 with a head kick, however, the struggle was overturned into a no contest after a failed drug test.
Gustafsson (+230) is an exceptional fighter with excellent cardio who doesn’t have a difficulty rising to the occasion. As mentioned previously, his first scrap with Jones was an epic war which left many wondering whose hand would be raised in the end of their 25 minutes. The Mauler put at a similar effort against Daniel Cormier in UFC 192, but once again came empty-handed. The Sweden native only has two other losses on his album, a submission loss to Phil Davis in his next UFC fight along with a knockout in the hands of this ever-dangerous Anthony Johnson at 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 very first meeting while every fighter landed a takedown. Both fighters were left bruised, battered and bloodied however, it was Jones who left his hand raised. Ever since, The Mauler was calling for a rematch while Bones proceeded to beat three other challengers, including Daniel Cormier twice.
It will be interesting to see what developments each fighter has made over the last year and a half. Of course, Gustafsson has been dealing with injuries, while Jones has been working on his craft while on suspension. The New York native said that he didn’t train for his first bout with the Sweden native and that’s the reason why it was so snug. We’ll 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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