Jon Jones not out of reach, says UFC 165 title challenger Alexander Gustafsson


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

alexander-gustafsson-9.jpgIn the buildup to next week’s UFC 165, the promotion is selling title challenger Alexander Gustafsson as champ Jon Jones‘ physical equal, if not his combative one. 

A promo for the event implies that Gustafsson’s 6-foot-5 stature is key to his credibility as a light heavyweight contender.

What the clip doesn’t reveal is the relative reach of Jones and Gustafsson, which isn’t exactly a useless stat in breaking down the fight. Jones’ wingspan is measured at 84.5 inches (the longest in the UFC), while Gustafsson’s is 76.5. As with most of his fights, it appears the champ could eat a sandwich on one side of the octagon and jab and kick his foe on the other. 

But that’s if you believe everything you read on the Internet. 

Gustafsson corrected MMAjunkie.com on the figure widely reported to be his reach. 

“My reach is not 76.5,” he said during a conference call in support of UFC 165, which takes place Sept. 21 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. “It’s 81.2. I just wanted to mention that.”

But regardless of the rogue biographers within the UFC and on Wikipedia, Gustafsson isn’t convinced that a reach disadvantage will play much of a part in the title fight, which headlines the event’s pay-per-view card. 

“It’s not always about reach,” he said. “It’s about footwork. It’s about being fast, getting in and out. I’m really making sure I’ve done my homework there. I’m super motivated.”

Reach, however, isn’t the only deficit Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) is running against Jones (18-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC). According to FightMetric, the UFC’s official statistics providers, he is a less accurate striker, landing 36 percent to Jones’ 53. He also absorbs more strikes per minute than Jones (2.29 to 1.44). 

On the other hand, the challenger lands a fraction more significant strikes per minute than the champ (3.98 to 3.94). 

Asked about the necessity of closing the distance to score, Gustafsson simply said, “I will win this fight by staying on the outside.”

But that’s Jones’ idea, too. 

“I just believe that I use my reach better,” he said. “If you watch my fights and you watch Alexander’s fights, he gets hit a lot with a lot of different punches. 

“With me, I’ve gone through some fights where fighters have only punched me once. I mean, I fought (Quinton) ‘Rampage’ Jackson, and he hit me, like, twice in the whole fight. Lyoto Machida was able to touch my face twice in the whole fight. 

“(I’m) fighting against the best guys in the world, and a lot of them never even get a chance to punch me in the face throughout the fight. So I just believe I use my timing, my rhythm, my distance a lot better than him. I think the proof is in the pudding.” 

For more on UFC 165, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Alexander Gustafsson)

view original article >>

Related News

  • 21 days ago
  • 44 views

See you in "Sin City." Canada? Pfffft. Sweden? As if. The Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson light heavyweight championship rematch, recently booked for the upcoming UFC 178 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sept. 27, 2014, now has a place to call home, according to promotion president Dana White. Well, sorta. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on Friday (July 4) announced the event would be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, but has yet to reveal an official venue, though both MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay ar more

  • 21 days ago
  • 41 views

Sorry Torontonians, Las Vegas is the place to be for one of the biggest fights of the year. The first epic clash between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson took place in Toronto, Ontario, and the rematch was supposed to be in the same city. Those plans have been nixed, and on a special edition of UFC Tonight, Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed that UFC 178 will be in Las Vegas on 9/27. Believe it or not, it's the first time that Jones has fought in Vegas as a champion, although they tried to accomplish more

  • 3 days ago
  • 130 views

Surging UFC featherweight contender Conor McGregor has a chance to prove he's truly an elite talent at UFC 178 when he squares off with perennial contender Dustin Poirier. Although the event is headlined by a long-awaited light heavyweight championship rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, "The Notorious" warns the 205-pound titleholder he's going to make his paycheck for the event a little lighter than usual. Tell Jon I'm taking a cut of his PPV. — Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA more

  • 2 days ago
  • 53 views

The worldwide leader for mixed martial arts and UFC news, MMA News, UFC Rumors, MMA Rankings, Interviews, Videos, UFC Results, and UFC Blog more

  • 2 days ago
  • 19 views

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier are set to face off for the title, and they let their own daughters start the smack talk for them. Alexander Gustafsson had an unfortunate knee injury that forced him out of his much anticipated rematch against Jon Jones, leading to Daniel Cormier stepping in for a title shot. The smack talk between the two has started, but this time, it was led by their adorable daughters. Check it out below: I just talked to @dc_mma on the phone and his little daughter was screamin more

  • a day ago
  • 25 views

Daniel Cormier has been gunning for Jon Jones for a long time. Even before the former Olympian ever stepped foot in the light heavyweight division, the Louisiana native made sure to let the pound-for-pound phenom know he was coming for his belt. And it was a premonition that is about to come true. While "D.C." entered the UFC fold as a heavyweight, the AKA staple exited the weight class after a pair of high-profile victories. The 35-year-old defeated former champion Frank Mir and heavy-handed sl more

  • 25 days ago
  • 69 views

Jon Jones talented, but two-faced? "Stone Cold" criticism -- and praise -- from perhaps the greatest WWE superstar of all time. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) legend "Stone Cold" Steve Austin -- an avid mixed martial arts (MMA) fan -- was a recent in-studio guest on "The MMA Hour" to chat about the latest happenings in the sport, sharing perspective from his entertainment side of the fence. One of the many topics he touched on was the level of star-power on the current Ultimate Fighting Cha more

  • 25 days ago
  • 69 views

Steve Austin stopped by the the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani recently to talk about MMA and just about everything else under the sun. He also had a few less than kind words for light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. more

  • 24 days ago
  • 38 views

Steve Austin, one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling history, not so secretly doubles as an MMA aficionado, and gives his thoughts on every UFC champion, as well as what he sees as the realities of the pro sports world in 2014 as it relates to Chael Sonnen. Within the UFC, when the question comes up regarding what celebrity outside the sport itself is the most knowledgeable, a name that comes up high on most lists is retired pro wrestler turned reality show personality and podcast host Steve more