Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson II didn’t play out anything like the first fight. Gustafsson took Jones to a nail-biting decision in a Fight of the Year epic at UFC 165, but the Swede was dominated in last night’s light heavyweight championship rematch in the UFC 232 main event.
Gustafsson, who was eventually finished with a barrage of ground-and-pound in the third round, said Jones almost completely immobilised him with a groin injury in the first round.
“He got me very, very early in the first round,” Gustafsson told reporters at the UFC 232 post-fight press conference, per MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway. “Very early. After that I just shut down. I wasn’t tired, I had my conditioning. I felt good. We had our exchanges and everything. He just shut me down very early in the first round and I couldn’t move at all. I told my corner that too and all that. He did what he was supposed to do and made sure he won the fight.”
With that said, ‘The Mauler’ credited Jones as being the better man on the night and said that, despite his recent positive drug test for trace amounts of Turinabol, ‘Bones’ didn’t feel any faster or stronger in the Octagon.
“Not really (any different),” Gustafsson said of Jones’ performance. “He just keeps a very high level of fighting. I was prepared for it. He just caught me this time. That’s it. I didn’t notice anything about if he was stronger or faster or anything. He went for his takedowns and his kicks and everything like that. I was prepared for it. He just had a really good move today and he shut me down.”
Gustafsson is now 0-2 against Jones, but the UFC veteran is still determined to capture a world title and prove himself against the very best in the world.
“It’s not over yet,” Gustafsson said. “Let’s see what’s next. Like always, you do this for a reason. That is to compete with the best guys out there, and that’s what I’ll do. I’ll do it as long as it’s fun.”