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Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson UFC 232 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 12/29/18

Game
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones
Date & Time Saturday December 29, 2018, 11:30 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Jon Jones -274 / Alexander Gustafsson +246 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
PPV
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MMA | Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson fight Saturday during UFC 232 at the T-Mobile Arena.

Jon Jones enters this fight with a 23-1 record and has won 42 percent of his fights by knockout. Jones has won his last 15 fights and is coming off a July (2017) win over Daniel Cormier. Jones is averaging 4.41 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 55 percent. Jones is averaging 2.13 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Jones is fighting for just the third time in nearly three years, as he’s coming off a suspension after testing positive for Turinabol. It’s always interesting to see how fighters respond after such long layoffs, but Bones should be used to it by now. Jones is often considered the best fighter in MMA history, as he has striking power, crazy athleticism, an 84-inch reach and is highly effective in the clinch as well. Jones is basically a fighter you design in a laboratory, a guy who does everything at a high level and has yet to really lose a fight. Jones has a high level takedown defense, an aggressive ground and pound and is always a threat to land vicious kicks. With no clear weaknesses, the only question mark surrounding Jones is his time out of the octagon, as rust development is a thing. This will be Jones’ seventh career fight in Las Vegas.

Alexander Gustafsson enters this fight with a 18-4 record and has won 61 percent of his fights by knockout. Gustafsson has split his last six fights and is coming off a May (2017) win over Glover Teixeira. Gustafsson is averaging 4.18 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Gustafsson is averaging 1.76 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Gustafsson is another fighter who hasn’t fought in a while, but he’s coming off a five round knockout victory that earned fight of the night honors. Gustafsson now has a chance to win three straight fights for the first time since 2011-12. Gustafsson is a powerful striker who lands 74 percent of his strikes standing up and 17 percent of his strikes standing up. Four of Gustafsson’s last seven wins have come by knockout and he’s no stranger to throwing in a violent knee from time to time. Gustafsson is also quite effective with his takedown attempts and is well conditioned with his average fight time being nearly 11 minutes. Gustafsson is an overall tough, powerful fighter who has only been finished twice in four career losses. This will be Gustafsson’s second career fight in Las Vegas.

When these two fought over five years ago at UFC 165, it was a five round decision that truly could have gone either way. Gustafsson surprised Jones with his takedown attempts and landed some quality strikes both to the head and body. Gustafsson should be able to take that experience and use it to his advantage, especially knowing he can handle the power of Jones. However, picking against Jones just isn’t an option, as the guy is the most skilled fighter on the planet and has the edge just about anywhere this fight goes. Sure, Gustafsson could land one strike or surprise Jones again by being aggressive with the takedowns, but picking against Jones just isn’t an option for me. In fact, Jones may very well have less trouble in this fight based on the fact he’s already seen Gustafsson, and his high IQ will allow him to make adjustments.

I’ll take Jones in a TKO/KO.

Pick:
Jon Jones By TKO/KO

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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