Jon Jones Amost Punches Gustafsson’s Head Through The Canvass To Reclaim Title

Jon Jones Amost Punches Gustafsson’s Head Through The Canvass To Reclaim Title

When Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson finally stepped into the cage to face one another it meant more than just the culmination of a rivalry that has lasted over 5 years. After their first fight way back in 2013 ended up being an instant classic, razor-close split decision victory for Jones, fans have been clamouring to see the two share an Octagon again.

After the news emerged yesterday that Daniel Cormier had chosen to relinquish his UFC Light Heavyweight title rather than be stripped, the fact that the winner of this fight would be the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion was only reaffirmed.

Despite famously posing together in hospital following their first fight, the vitriol between Jones and Gustafsson has remained ever-present in the leadup to their rematch. During the pre-fight press conference, Jones went on a scathing rant towards his Swedish opponent, referencing Gus’ devastating knockout loss on home soil to Anthony Rumble Johnson back in 2015.

Because both men were coming into the fight after reasonably long layoffs, it was easy to forget that they had both turned in some of their most impressive performances in the previous fights. Gustafsson decimated Glover Teixeira back in 2017 with a series of uppercuts resulting in a brutal knockout.

Meanwhile, in Jones’ last appearance in the cage before tonight, he defeated current UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier via second-round head kick, though the result would be overturned to a no-contest following Jones’ failed drug test.

However, after Sunday’s monumental controversy surrounding Jones’ abnormal drug test which caused the entire event to be moved from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Inglewood, California much of the attention of the event was taken away from this incredible matchup and instead focused on Jones’ continuing issues with doping.

At yesterday’s weigh-ins, Gustafsson made his stance on doping in sport clear by wearing a t-shirt that I can only imagine wasn’t approved by Reebok. Interestingly, when the two fighters were squared off, Jones made no eye contact with his opponent, instead choosing to stare out into the crowd of fans. This is a big departure from when the two faced-off in November, when Jones pushed Gustafsson.

Despite having a lot to live up to with their first fight, both men entered the cage looking to do just that.