Tonawanda News — UFC 165 also features interim bantamweight titlist Renan Barao, unbeaten in 30 straight fights since his pro debut in 2005, defending his belt against former WEC champ Eddie Wineland. Heavyweights Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrione also meet.
Just like Canelo, Gustafsson is the most logical challenger to a dominant champion. He has won six straight fights since his only career loss in April 2010, and nobody doubts he deserves the title shot given to him by UFC President Dana White.
Although Jones is a heavy favorite to defeat Gustafsson, the challenger is among the few 205-pound contenders who can match Jones’ impressive frame. At 6-foot-5, Gustafsson is slightly taller than Jones, although the champion’s 84½-inch wingspan is a bit broader.
“It’s not always about reach,” said Gustafsson, who trains in Stockholm and San Diego. “It’s about footwork. It’s being fast, in and out. Stuff like that. I’m really making sure I’ve really done my homework here, and I’m super motivated.”
But Jones is confident he can overcome any size similarities with his combination of study and skill.
“I’m really excited to prove that my size is just a really small part of what makes me, me,” Jones said. “If my height was the reason for my dominance, I think half the NBA would be top guys in the UFC. Gustafsson, he’s really nothing like me.
“What gets me motivated is he hasn’t had the life,” Jones added. “He wants to be the top dog. A lot of the guys I’ve fought before, they’ve been there and they didn’t appreciate it, and they lost it. Alexander has never been there, so there’s a fire that I’m sure he has that gets me fired up.”
Jones, who combs through his opponents’ interviews for threads to unravel their psyche, also said he found motivation for the fight in a Swedish interview in which Gustafsson called him an immature bully.