Jon Jones has always had the length and height advantage over the opponents who have squared off with him — but on Saturday Sep. 21st, Jones will face a slight disadvantage as he takes on the larger Alexander Gustafsson.
With both men coming into this bout with only one “official” loss, both just 26 years of age and having both being undefeated inside the octagon since 2010, the path of these two men has been aligning for a long time.
It seems that ever since Jones defeated Ryan Bader at UFC 126, he won the belt and has done nothing else but destroy and belittle the light heavyweight division. “Bones” won the title at only 23 years of age, defeating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (who is a legend in his own rights both in the UFC and Pride) which was just the beginning of his already historic light heavyweight run.
Jones, now 26 years old — he has done nothing more than live up to the hype behind him. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, yet another UFC and Pride legend also challenged Jones for the title, only to fall victim and face his first stoppage loss since 2005.
Many speculated that Jones’ arsenal would be tested if he was only pressured (with wrestling, striking, etc…) by his opponents. Fighters who dare challenge Jones have been a bit weary of pressing forward. Many believed it would be Rampage or Rashad who would come close to derailing the champ due to their fighting styles. Both men didn’t come close, Jones’ biggest threat by far was Lyoto Machida.
Who would also suffer a loss to the champion in completely devastating fashion.
Gustafsson is hands down the toughest opponent the champion will face to date — a damn near mirror image of Jones, including both age, height and size and presenting an equally devastating striking submission game.
“The Mauler” is on a tear himself, defeating Matyushenko, Hamill, Thiago Silva and former UFC light heavyweight champion “Shogun”.
In 2013, we’ve seen both the crowning of the first UFC women’s champion, the fall of a lightweight champion and the devastating dethroning of a MMA middleweight legened. The UFC’s heavyweight, welterweight, women’s bantamweight and new UFC middleweight champion are all booked to defend their titles before the years end.
Could 2013 be the year of the fallen UFC champions?