Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Rematch Full of Question Marks • MMA News

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Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Rematch Full of Question Marks • MMA News

Jon Jones & Alexander Gustafsson (Picture Credit score: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photos)

Simply over 5 years in the past, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson met within the middle of the Octagon at UFC 165 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and dazzled followers in what’s broadly thought of to be one of the best MMA fights of all time. On the time, Jones was anticipated to run by means of Gustafsson and simply retain the UFC gentle heavyweight title, however the huge Swede wasn’t having any of it. The 2 battled back-and-forth for 5 rounds that night time, enthralling the group at Air Canada Centre and leaving these watching world wide on pay-per-view with their jaws dropped. Whereas Jones did get his hand raised by unanimous determination that night time, Gustafsson gave Jones by far the hardest combat of his profession. To this present day, there are nonetheless those that imagine Gustafsson ought to have gotten his hand raised that night time. Simply over 5 years later, he’ll get the possibility to rectify the choice when he takes on Jones this Saturday night time in the principle occasion of UFC 232.

The rematch has been a very long time coming, and there’s been quite a bit of controversy by means of the years that made it look like we might by no means get to see Jones and Gustafsson go at it once more, however we’re lastly going to see these two throw down for a second time this weekend. In hindsight, the UFC made an enormous mistake not reserving a direct rematch of this combat. As an alternative, Jones fought Glover Teixeira and Gustafsson fought Jimi Manuwa. The UFC might have booked the rematch at that time, however Daniel Cormier emerged as a viable challenger to Jones, and finally became this biggest rival. Gustafsson, in the meantime, was knocked out of title rivalry briefly by Anthony Johnson. Regardless of that, followers have at all times craved this rematch. And now, 5 years later, we’re lastly going to see it, although the combat will not be with out query marks for each males.

For Jones, the query marks surrounding him are apparent. After the Gustafsson combat, Jones went on to check constructive and be suspended quite a few instances for banned substances, and plenty of have known as the legitimacy of his title run and accomplishments into query. After one other failed drug check following his knockout win over Cormier at UFC 214 in July 2017, Jones was a four-year suspension, however USADA minimize the size again to a yr, leaving him free to return on the finish of 2018. Simply final week, although, Jones and the UFC revealed he had failed one other check, this time for minuscule picograms. UFC president Dana White and USADA took Jones’ aspect on the matter and determined to maneuver UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles after Nevada wouldn’t sanction the bout however California would.

Not solely is Jones coming off of a protracted layoff, however he’s by no means been extra scrutinized than ever earlier than concerning his drug check failures. Jones has by no means had extra query marks surrounding him than main as much as this combat, an will probably be attention-grabbing to see if he can channel his power and deal with the duty at hand. It’s not like Gustafsson isn’t with out his personal query marks himself, although. Because the first Jones combat, Gustafsson has solely averaged one combat a yr himself. Everyone seems to be speaking about Jones’ lengthy layoff, however many are forgetting Gustafsson hasn’t fought since an April 2017 knockout win over Teixeira. He’s nonetheless one of the perfect on the planet, but it surely’s unfair to knock Jones on not preventing for over a yr and ignoring that Gustasson has as properly. Each males have very actual query marks.

Regardless of every part that’s occurred, the rematch between Jones and Gustafsson is about as intriguing as an MMA combat that would occur. Gustafsson is possibly the one fighter who has exploited any of Jones’ potential weaknesses and in some ways is possibly the one stylistically dangerous matchup for Jones conceivable. Jones has seemed primarily unbeatable in MMA, however given Gustafsson’s comparable attain and size, he makes for one of the few fighters who can truly give Jones points. We noticed that within the first combat, and we might even see one thing related this second time round. The primary combat between Jones and Gustafsson again at UFC 165 was the stuff of legends, and one would hope the rematch is simply pretty much as good, if not higher. It’s simply so onerous to say for certain given every part that’s occurred to each males since then. It’s unlucky we’ve to speak concerning the drug checks and never nearly how nice of a matchup this rematch is. Both means, we’ll have a brand new gentle heavyweight champion come Saturday night time. Let’s simply hope this time it comes with out controversy.

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