Comparisons to Jon Jones May be Early, but Alexander Gustafsson Ready for Top 5

April 15, 2012
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Alexander GustafssonThere are definitely some similarities between Alexander Gustafsson and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

They’re both tall, lanky fighters that surprise others with their strength and creative energy in the Octagon. Both are young and rocketed through most of their competition.

But for all their similarities, the recent talk propelling Gustafsson into the title picture with Jones may be jumping the gun just a bit. The 25-year-old Swede may soon fight his way into the Octagon across from his American counterpart, but make no bones about it, he’s not there just yet… and he knows it.

“I just want to fight the top five guys in my division and when a title shot comes, I will be more than ready,” said Gustafsson at the UFC on Fuel TV 2 post-fight press conference in Stockholm on Saturday night.

Gustafsson is appreciative of the comparisons, calling it “great feedback,” but he’s not throwing himself into a title fight before it is warranted.

It’s not that he isn’t close, particularly after going three rounds with a very tough Thiago Silva, walking away with the unanimous nod from the judges in Sweden.

He’s slipped up only once in his 15-fight career, losing to Phil Davis at UFC 112 in 2010. That was really a turning point for Gustafsson, however.

Realizing the holes in his game, he started training with Phil Davis at Alliance MMA in Southern California. He has since won five consecutive bouts, including Silva, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Matt Hamill. All are great fighters, but now Gustafsson needs to prove himself against the best fighters to prove that he should be mentioned alongside Jones.

“It’s a little early,” said UFC president Dana White about the comparisons to Jon Jones.

“Tonight was a big fight for him. It was a big first step. I think that now he needs to start fighting some of the guys in the top five and we’ll see if he fights his way up to a title shot.”

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  • 205 is kind of a mess at the top right now. Lot of guys coming off losses or already waiting for a title shot. For his next fight maybe match him up with Nogueira like originally planned.

    • Mario

      I fully agree!

  • Anthony

    Well, as far as the comparison with Johnny Bones, they are both tall. They both use thier height to slip punches and bob in and out, Bones seems a hell of allot better at it though, and takes way less damage.Maybe the 9 inch reach difference between the two might have something to do with that. They both seem to have pretty good power, and an unorthadox style. I guess maybe comparisons are warrented at this point–Still Bones would destroy this guy inside of 2.

  • D-rail

    True, the division is messy right now but Lil Nog isn’t to five. All commentators at the post fight agree that he’s deserving of a title shot, but if the dude isn’t confident yet, then Dana’s more than happy to drag it out just to fill up that busy schedule.

  • Whitey

    Other than Lil’Nog, the only fight Gustafsson could have is against Machida, but he’s supposed to be fighting Davis.

  • Prodigy815

    Let’s see how he does against a strong athletic wrestler

  • shakejunt

    ^Bader fits the bill and he’s the only one in top 10 that is coming off a win beside Nog.

  • When I heard Goldfarb and Rogan say that Gustafsson was like Jones I knew that the “fans” would run with it. He doesn’t remind me of Jones, but rather Machida. He stays outside, moves in quickly to land and is gone when the counter comes. He fights “smart”.
    Lyoto has a Karate stance and Gustafsson boxing, but they use exactly the same type of tactics. Hit more and get hit less.