UFC 165 fight card primer: Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson fight card primer, previewing all the action at this weekend's UFC 165 PPV. Here, we look at the main event: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC Light Heavyweight title.

In the main event at UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson, UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones (18-1 MMA; 12-1 UFC) defends his title against challenger Alexander Gustafsson (15-1 MMA; 7-1 UFC). The official UFC rankings have Gustafsson as the #1 contender for the belt; Jones sits at the very top at #1 in the Pound for Pound rankings. UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson airs live on PPV this Saturday, September 21 with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

If you listen to the UFC marketing machine this match is all about one thing - reach. Inexplicably, the fact that both men have long arms has been the primary focus from the company. Completely ignored is the much more compelling storyline - a win here would be the 6th successful UFC Light Heavyweight title defense for Jones, making him the most decorated champion in the history of the company's flagship division. It would also put him at #3 on the all-time title defense list behind only Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, cementing his position as one of the best fighters in company history despite being only 26 years old. But hey, what's history matter when you can compare arm size all day?

How do these two stack up?

Jones: 26 years old | 6'4" | 84.5" reach
Gustafsson: 26 years old | 6'5" | 76.5" reach

What have these two done recently?

Jones: W - Chael Sonnen (KO) | W - Vitor Belfort (Sub) | W - Rashad Evans (UD)
Gustafsson: W - Shogun Rua (UD) | W - Thiago Silva (UD) | W - Vladimir Matyushenko (KO)

How did these two get here?

As I said above, Jon Jones is already an extremely decorated champion, and he's now heading into the rarified air of the company's all time greats. But people won't want to hear that. Jones has earned his fair share of haters over the years, and those haters have a lot of complaints - he's arrogant, he only wins because he's tall, his level of competition has been low lately. Not exactly incorrect statements, but they also ignore the fact that Jones is a unique talent who has the potential to be perhaps the best the sport has ever seen. And sorry haters, that's not hyperbole.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 165

Alexander Gustafsson has been a notable player in the sort of unofficial "next generation" of Light Heavyweights, standing alongside men like Phil Davis and Glover Teixeira just a notch below Jones. He's been bumping off the old generation, and is coming off his biggest win over former champion Shogun. He's a very skilled fighter, but he also seems out of his league against Jones - but then, who doesn't?

Why should you care?

Jon Jones. History. And long arms.

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