Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson honestly wasn’t that great of a fight. Look at most any of the fights that are in the Best of the Best archive on this blog. Any of those could be a better fight. What was intriguing about this fight was that Alexander Gustafsson offered the first real threat to Jon Jones UFC Light Heavyweight title.
It is an action packed five rounds. Jon Jones has his usual unorthodox striking that leverages wrestling base, his long limbs and his reach. Alexander Gustafsson however comes in with outstanding wrestling and a strong boxing background. Gustafsson was able to draw the fight out of Jon Jones and turn this title fight into one of the best Light Heavyweight title fights in UFC history. This fight is recognized as the 2013 Fight of the Year.
(Click and scroll for the full fight video)
Jon Jones is probably one of the most annoying and hate-able fighters in the UFC now. Perhaps not an opinion that is shared by everyone. But I find him incredibly annoying, obnoxious, and not a good representative of the spirit of and respect in martial arts.
But then again, Jon Jones is the youngest UFC Light Heavyweight champion ever. In his time as the champion, he has beaten most of MMA’s legends starting with Stephan Bonnar, Brandon Vera, Vladmir Matyushenko, Shogun Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rasha Evans, Vitor Befort, the list goes on and on. If I had his list of accomplishments, I would be pretty obnoxious as well.
It’s this attitude that I find annoying about Jon Jones and that’s why I find Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson one of the best MMA fights.
Alexander Gustafsson was a very accomplished amateur boxer in Sweden. He brought his boxers hands into the UFC in 2009 but suffered his first MMA defeat to Phil Davis via anaconda choke. After this loss, Alexander Gustafsson moved to Pennsylvania to train at Alliance Gym with Phil Davis. Since then, Gustafsson has improved phenomenally in his wrestling. His outstanding wrestling was on full display during Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson in his take down defense. Jon Jones a fairly accomplished high school wrestler was not able to take the Swede down!
Combining his new found wrestling ability and his highly trained boxing, Gustafsson went on an absolute tear through the UFC light heavyweight division. He defeated Jame Te-Huna via rear naked choke, Matt Hamill via TKO in the second round, Vladimir Matyushenko by TKO in the first round and Mauricio Shogun Rua in an awesome three round war.
Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson is the first time Jon Jones has met an opponent that could match his reach advantage. At the same time Gustafsson brought the right game plan and was able to execute with strong wrestling and high level boxing. It was actually quite beautiful to see Gustafsson working angles and distancing during the fight to pave the road for his boxing.
Watch the full fight here.
Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson full fight video