Jon Jones Mauls Alexander Gustafsson by Third Round KO to Reclaim Light Heavyweight Title

December 30, 2018

Jon Jones is back atop his throne as the best light heavyweight in the world.

On Saturday night in Los Angeles, Jones made it looks easy with a third round knockout to finish Alexander Gustafsson five years after the toughest test of his career in their first fight back in 2013.

This time around at UFC 232, Jones showcased the best of his entire mixed martial arts game to pick apart Gustafsson on the feet and then put him away on the ground.

Like a master chess player, Jones set up the pieces to his victory from the very first exchange with Gustafsson as he immediately started attacking his legs and then working up from there.

Jones was constantly peppering away at Gustafsson’s lower body and then coming back up top with shots to the midsection and then to the head to keep the Swedish contender guessing in every exchange.

It was obvious as the first round ended and the second round began that Gustafsson was trying to anticipate what Jones was going to do rather than launch his own offensive game plan.

Gustafsson being tentative allowed Jones to get even more fluid with his attacks and he buckled the top ranked contender’s lead leg with a kick late in the ground that really started to shift the momentum in the fight.

Throughout all of this, Jones was swooping inside to look for the takedown but never fully committed to taking Gustafsson to the ground until the third round.

Once Jones got Gustafsson down, he never got back up again.

Jones quickly transitioned into side control and then started fishing for the crucifix position to trap an arm and bludgeon Gustafsson with elbows. That forced Gustafsson to roll to avoid the damage but that only set up the finish with Jones quickly taking his back and locking his legs into position to start raining down damage from above.

Jones absolutely battered Gustafsson with a series of punches that rendered him unable to defend any longer and referee Mike Beltran saw enough to rush in and stop the fight at 2:02 into the third round.

With the win, Jones reclaims the light heavyweight title he never actually lost in a fight while trying to move past the controversy that haunted his rematch with Gustafsson all week long. Questions about drug testing will continue to follow Jones even after this victory but he at least did his job inside the cage to prove once again that he’s the best 205-pound fighter on the planet.

“The first time I fought Alexander, I stayed in his punching range. The main difference was I was aware of how far away I was at all times,” Jones said about the differences from his first fight to his rematch against Gustafsson at UFC 232. “I really think our team is the most dangerous team, especially when we get a rematch.”

With the finish against Gustafsson, there aren’t many challenges left for Jones at light heavyweight but he still seems interested in one more battle against his most heated rival.

“I know there’s a guy who’s been calling himself champ-champ,” Jones said when speaking about Daniel Cormier. “I mean what guy just gives up his belt because somebody made it home.  

“Daddy’s home, DC. Prove to the fans you’re the champ-champ. Come get a taste. I’m here.”

Jones vs. Cormier 3 would undoubtedly be a huge fight for the UFC, but whether it happens or not remains to be seen. Cormier has said repeatedly that he plans on retiring in March and wasn’t likely to return to light heavyweight after defending his heavyweight title back in November.

Still with the prospect of a chance to face Jones one more time, Cormier may be tempted to stick around.

For now, Jones will celebrate his latest title win as he is once again the UFC light heavyweight champion.