As both the fighters have been out of action for a long period of time this fight is expected to be highly unpredictable. As Jones last fought in July 2017 where he was able to defeat Daniel Cormier with a calculated flashy head kick in the third round but was he was later stripped of the belt due to positive turnabol testing.
On the other hand, Gustafsson fought only once against Jan Blachowicz in 2016. Hence, Ring rust may play an important factor, but this time we have to find out, which of these two fighters show it the most.
UFC 232 will be live on Pay Per View on 29th December 2018. Originally planned for T- Mobile Arena, UFC 232 will be held at the Forum in Inglewood's Los Angeles suburb.
Coming to UFC 232, both of these fighters have been off for an extended period of time with Bones’ last appearance coming in July of last year, as he dealt with the USADA, and Gustafsson hasn’t fought since May of last year, dealing with injuries. Hence, its a very close edged fight and betting odds have been fluctuating over the past three days.
Alexander Gustafsson was a fan favorite pick at the beginning of the week but Jones recently rose up from being an underdog to fan favorite by the end of the week. In their first meeting, Jon outstripped Gustafsson 137- 114 while each fighter landed a takedown. The former champion, Jones, won the first fight back in 2013 at UFC 165 and is a favorite of -285 for this fight against the challenger, Gustafsson, back at + 225.
Bones was a fan favorite previously when he met the Mouler inside the Octagon Five years ago in 2013. Further, in his final battle, Jon Jones averages 2.13 strikes per 15 minutes, but also averages 4.41 strikes per minute and only absorbs 2.12 strikes per minute.
Odds point towards Bones ending the fight with a decision victory, but Alexander Gustafsson has an 85 percent takedown defense and is an elite striker just like Jon Jones and the fact that this fight might be the only shot he is getting at the LHW title Gustafsson would try everything to get the cards to favor him.
As per many analysts, If it hadn't been for the litany of controversies that disrupted his career in recent years, Jones would never have lost the light heavyweight title. When Bones fight finally became official on 29 December against Alexander Gustafsson, Jones opened as an underdog against Swedish rival at UFC 232 but later in the weeks the former light heavyweight champ rose to be the heavy favorite to retain his title that he never lost inside the cage.
Further, looking at Jones overall UFC performances, he has always outstruck his opponents by double digits which makes him one of the favorite fighters in the game, so it's obvious that people would like to bet their money on him.
Gustafsson is a high-level striker who lost to Jones at UFC 165 by unanimous decision, and many had thought he was robbed by then. But looking at his performance against Daniel Cormier at UFC 192 and Jones last performance against the current double champ DC, Alex can be a cash cow if he wins but the odds are on Jones' side.
The 31-year- old is a gas tank and a durable fighter who can stand and trade with fighters like Jones and DC. Further, Alex's combinations are out of this world so he is not a bad bet at all despite being an underdog on this one. We also think that The Mauler's wrestling is underrated as he so far has averaged 1.76 takedowns per 15 minutes and after DC, Alex is the only man to successfully take Jones down.
If UFC's biggest yet very controversial superstar Jon Jones makes his way to the octagon, its obvious that he will be a fan favorite even if he is fighting a bull, so this match is no exception for the Newyork native but yes, Gustafsson's injury has played a role in this one for sure.
In his last bout, Gus looked great, he showed us how good he is at striking and also showed us his fantastic combinations and footwork, but he has been in and out time and again for numerous shoulder injuries which are again a reason to distrust for MMA fans.