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


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 >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 11 days ago
  • 2 views

Former UFC light-heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson discusses Jon Jones’ failed drug test and what it means for the sport overall. As one half of the ‘Fight of the Year' in 2013, Alexa read news >>

  • a day ago
  • 8 views

To newly minted UFC light heavyweight title contender Anthony Johnson, Jon Jones’ tweet to Alexander Gustafsson is one example of how folks are messed up. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 5 views

The man who had his rematch with Jon Jones taken away has a choice phrase for the champ’s title defense in tonight’s UFC 182 pay-per-view headliner. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 76 views

Alexander Gustafsson pulled a 'GSP' moments after Jon Jones' win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 The fighter next in line for a shot at Jon Jones' crown wasn't dazzled by the champion's performance at read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

Jon Jones did not have much trouble dealing with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, but Jones' 2013 rival, Alexander Gustafsson, could not help but yawn during the fight, it seems. Posting on Facebook, the l read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 13 views

Anthony Johnson is a night owl these days. The UFC’s No. 3-ranked light heavyweight arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, late last week to prepare for Saturday’s title eliminator against Alexander Gustafsso read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 0 views

This Saturday, the UFC heads to a massive indoor arena in Sweden for UFC on Fox 14. The main event features the ultra-smooth Alexander Gustafsson taking on Anthony Johnson, who used to be a welterwei read news >>

  • a day ago
  • 14 views

Then quickly deleted the tweet. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones said he was tired of talking about Alexander Gustafsson, after "The Mauler" took him to the l read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 9 views

Listen to the UFC 182 conference call audio featuring UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and title challenger Daniel Cormier. read news >>