As a fighter who has challenged both Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson in the past, Alexander Gustafsson holds a unique insight into the UFC 187 main event. The Swedish star lost to Jones in a dramatic UFC 165 main event thriller several years ago in Toronto, and recently lost to Johnson by first round TKO.
Given that his emphatic loss to Johnson was one that surprised the vast majority of MMA fans and pundits, Gustafsson was not shy to admit that Johnson's power far exceeded what he expected, and is significantly more damaging than Jones' strikes.
"Oh, he hits harder than Jones, yeah," Gustafsson said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "Rumble, when he connects, you feel it. That's what Jones has to be careful of, his power. When he comes with the pressure, he has really good pressure. He's really dangerous as a light heavyweight."
However, while he was willing to show Johnson's power the necessary respect, he still believes the defending champion will retain his title based on his varied arsenal and tailored gameplans.
"It's a tough call," Gustafsson said. "I think Jones will win the fight, because he has more leverage and he has a little bit more, he mixes things up, as everyone knows. So I think he will win this fight. But that said, Rumble is a great fighter, and a great person and he's heavy handed. So, you know, anything can happen in a fight. You have to keep your chin down and your hands up. I'm very excited for that fight."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.