The UFC Light Heavyweight title is on the line Saturday, September 21st when Alex Gustafsson challenges one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon.
Could there a surprise in the making for our
Which sportsbooks are offering the best lines for this fight?
(15-1, 9 KO's, 3 Subs)
Gustafsson is hoping that this matchup against Jon Jones
won't be a case of the champ shooting Swedish fish in a barrel. The 6'5"
inch native of Arboga, Sweden has been awarded decisions over Thiago Silva and
most recently, Shogun Rua. The match against Rua proved that Gustafsson is
indeed in the rarified air of the very best on the planet at 205 pounds.
Alexander Gustafsson looks like he should be shooting hoops
as opposed to throwing bombs. He's got the build of the prototypical tall white
basketball player somewhere, sometime in the 70's or 80's before they were
jacked and pumped. While he lacks the muscularity and vascularity of many of
today's tattooed cage warriors, he lacks nothing in terms of swift, devastating
power punches. He is a boxer by trade but I don't see any other dimensions to
his game that would lend itself to MMA over boxing except that in the Octagon
his opponents are not as skilled as he in terms of pure boxing.
That's exactly why he has had such success in mixed martial
arts because he doesn't allow his opponents to flip the script and take the
fight to the mat or barrage him with an array of stinging Muay Thai kicks that
will eventually incapacitate him. Gustafsson's huge reach advantage doesn't
allow opponents to work their way inside. He is also adept at sticking and
moving. He is not a big, plodding flame thrower like Pat Barry or Roy Nelson
who take as many as they give. Gustafsson is a master tactician and landing a
punch on him without him paying you back with two or three of his own is almost
He is that good and that's why I wonder why he forsook
boxing for MMA? He's got plenty of endurance, weaves in and out like a cobra
and has great footwork for a 6'5" man. Add to that a pretty jab and a
heavy right hand and I'm not sure he's in the right sport because unlike
boxing, he will have to be able to grapple with the best in the world
-eventually. So far only Phil Davis was able to avoid his reach without getting
starched and bring him to the canvas where he ultimately choked him out with
relative ease. It is to date, the only blemish on an otherwise pristine resume
for Alexander Gustafsson but it points out how vulnerable the big Swede will be
if Jon Jones takes this fight to the ground (and he will).
See what is going on in UFC 164 for your betting pleasure.
Jones (18-0, 1 DQ, 9 KO's, 6 Subs)
I don't list Jon Jones' record at 18-1 because he was victimized
by a monumental gaffe courtesy of a man, Steve Mazzagatti, who has refereed his
way into MMA infamy. If Dana White had his way Mazzagatti would not only be on
the unemployment line but behind bars. While I know an MMA ref has a tough job
and though Steve Mazzagatti may be a great guy outside of the Octagon he has
undeniably made some monumental blunders inside it. But none were worse than when he
disqualified Jon Jones for a midnight to six elbow strike upon the prone,
bloody body of Matt Hamill. That was it, no warning or point deduction from
Mazzagatti just a DQ and a big ol' L on Jones' record. Way to go Steve, you
just spray painted a moustache on the Mona Lisa.
Jones opened up as a -588 favorite at WilliamHill.com in
their UFC odds and they have not moved off that number which is about as
generous a line you're apt to get if you like the champ. Anyway, if you don't
know about Jon Jones then I suggest you make your way over to YouTube and check
out a little JBJ action. He is the greatest I have ever witnessed and I am no
bandwagon jumper either, having been his biggest proponent even before the
criminal DQ levied against him in the Hamill fight almost four years ago.
Check out My UFC 164 undercard picks~
Anything you can do, he can do better - and I'm talking to
Jones by submission in Round 2 for your UFC picks