There’s been a lot of comparisons between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson leading up to their UFC 165 showdown, but Jones doesn’t think he and Gustafsson have anything in common.
“You have the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Jon Jones, taking on a guy who is extremely similar to him in style, in aggression and in skills, and that man is Alexander Gustafsson,” stated UFC and Fox commentator and former fighter Kenny Florian during the UFC 165 Extended Preview.
Jones couldn’t disagree more.
“I don’t really agree with any of the comparisons,” Jones said during a recent media conference call. “I think the only thing me and Gustafsson have in common is that probably we’re both 26 years old and the fact that we’re over six-feet tall, over six-foot-four. Outside of that, we are completely different fighters.
“I’ve been able to study him a lot over the last several months and I realize there’s absolutely nothing he does that’s like me. We’re just completely different. We have the same height and age and that’s absolutely it,” added the champion.
One thing they do have in common is their reach. They both enjoy a reach advantage against most opponents. Jones will still have at least a three-inch reach advantage over Gustafsson, but Gustafsson's reach is likely the longest Jones has faced.
Even if their reach was equal, Jones believes he uses his length better than his Swedish opponent.
“Alexander, he has a long reach, and he’s tall. I’m training with a lot of guys who are tall as well, who have really fast hands, are good with their hands and good with their kicks. I just believe that I use my reach better,” said Jones.
Defense is another area Jones feels that he’s superior than Gustafsson.
“If you watch my fights and you watch Alexander’s fights, he gets hit a lot with a lot of different punches. With me, I’ve gone through some fights where fighters have only punched me once. When I fought Rampage Jackson, he hit me like twice in the whole fight. Lyoto Machida was able to touch my face like twice in the whole fight,” said Jones.
“I’ve been fighting the best guys in the world and a lot of them never even get the chance to punch me in the face throughout the fight. I just believe I use my timing, my rhythm, my distance a lot better than him. I think the proof is in the pudding,” he added.