Everyone wants Jones vs Cormier, seems we are sleeping on Gustafsson

8/13/13 in MMA   |   jaysutcliffe81   |   25 respect

Dec 8, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Alexander Gustafsson fights Mauricio Rua (not pictured) during their light heavyweight bout at MMA on FOX 5 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsThere are a lot of people who are really excited to see Daniel Cormier drop to 205 and challenge Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title. I am one of those people, but a lot of us myself included seem to be forgetting about the 6’5”, 200+ lbs Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson, who will be showing up in Toronto to take that belt and  put an end to all that talk.

Admittedly I was not giving Alexander the credit of being a serious threat to Jon’s reign as champion. After looking at some of his career stats, and watching some of his fights again, I have to say I may have to re-think my stance on this fight.

Now I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I think that this is his fight to win, but I do think he deserves better than a 5-1 underdog. This should be a more competitive fight than I had originally thought.

One of the major elements to this fight is going to be Gustafsson’s ability to keep the fight standing. To Gustafsson’s credit he has been very good at preventing takedowns 84% of them to be exact. So Jones may have more trouble getting it to the ground than he is used to.

Gustafsson has never been in the octagon with someone like Jon Jones, and he is very hard to prepare for; his athleticism allows him to do unorthodox things that a lot of other guys his size are unable to do; his strength and huge wingspan make his wrestling very effective and his top game very good. His elbows from the top may be the best in the business they are just nasty.

In turn Jon Jones has never been in there with someone like Gustafsson. It is the first time that Jones will look someone eye to eye in the octagon. Usually Jones enjoys a fairly large size advantage over his opponents. He will still have a reach advantage but not as big as he is used to.

With Gustafsson size and striking ability he could create a lot of problems for Jones in the striking department. His striking percentage while standing is an impressive 66%, well Jones sports a much less impressive 48%. I would have to imagine that Gustafsson knows, Jones is far less dangerous when he is standing. So If he can keep the fight standing, he may actually have the advantage in this fight.

Jones has been very affective at getting the fight to the ground in his career completing 62% of his takedowns. This means that at a few points in this fight we will see Gustafsson on his back, and that is where Jon shines there are not too many people who have been taken down and have not been either finished, seriously hurt or badly cut. When Gustafsson winds up on his back, it is going to be imperative that he gets up. Because if not, he will most likely suffer the same fate as all the others before him.

If Gustafsson can keep the fight standing he may just leave the octagon with the belt, but if he is unable to scramble back to his feet before feeling the wrath of Jones’ ground game, well—Jonny “Bones” Jones will be leaving Toronto with his belt and one more in the win column.

By Jason Sutcliffe
Twitter: @SutcliffeJay
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8/14/13   |   jaysutcliffe81   |   25 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
I think once Gus proves he is getting the better of the striking, Bones will go to his wrestling, and I just don't think Gus will have an answer for that. Unless, of course, he telegraphs the shot and catches him with a nasty knee on the way in.

I agree with that, Jones wingspan makes his wrestling very tough to defend, he is really good at connecting his arms and creating a lot of power. Gus will have to be really well prepared to deal with what Jon brings. I think that Jonny wins it with his ground and pound, but I wouldn't be shocked if Gus pulled it off either, Jon could get caught with some hard punches Gustafsson is more rangy than anyone Jones has fought.

8/14/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
Some fighters are stubborn and may not bring in the proper people to train for a fight. Not sure if anyone exists in a camp that can bring what Jones does. Just when you think you have Jones figured out, he changes the game again. Not to dismiss Gus, I just think it may take a lucky Serra/GSP type shot to end it. And Jones will never do what Anderson did with Weidman, so we don't have to worry about crap like that.

I think once Gus proves he is getting the better of the striking, Bones will go to his wrestling, and I just don't think Gus will have an answer for that. Unless, of course, he telegraphs the shot and catches him with a nasty knee on the way in.

8/14/13   |   jaysutcliffe81   |   25 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
Some fighters are stubborn and may not bring in the proper people to train for a fight. Not sure if anyone exists in a camp that can bring what Jones does. Just when you think you have Jones figured out, he changes the game again. Not to dismiss Gus, I just think it may take a lucky Serra/GSP type shot to end it. And Jones will never do what Anderson did with Weidman, so we don't have to worry about crap like that.

I think that Gus will do what ever he has to. If you consider technique, timing and power Jones is actually a mediocre striker. He gets away with a lot because he is very athletic and  has crazy range. He has never finished anyone while standing. You could argue Shogun but he was finished before he ever got up off the mat. If Gus can keep it standing he could win this fight he is a much better boxer (That is easier said than done). 

If Jones can put Gus on his back, which if history tells he will be able to, then he will finish him. Probably with ground and pound. This is going to be a very good fight, better than most people think. Jones and Gus are the same size, Gus is even a bit bigger. This is a situation Jones is not used to. I am curious to see how this plays out.

8/14/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
If Phil Davis can sub Gustaffson, Jon Jones will make it look even easier.

Some fighters are stubborn and may not bring in the proper people to train for a fight. Not sure if anyone exists in a camp that can bring what Jones does. Just when you think you have Jones figured out, he changes the game again. Not to dismiss Gus, I just think it may take a lucky Serra/GSP type shot to end it. And Jones will never do what Anderson did with Weidman, so we don't have to worry about crap like that.

8/14/13   |   jaysutcliffe81   |   25 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
If Phil Davis can sub Gustaffson, Jon Jones will make it look even easier.

MortonsLaw I hear what you are saying but I don't put a lot of merit on that considering it was over 3 years ago. Fighters grow a lot in 3 years, I am sure that he learned from that and has gotten a lot better. I think there is a good possibility that Jones could sub him or GnP him out. There is also a decent chance that Gustafsson could turn this into a striking match and give Jones a lot of problems. He is the better striker. It should be a good fight, either way it goes.

8/13/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

If Phil Davis can sub Gustaffson, Jon Jones will make it look even easier.