“I know there’s a guy who has been calling himself ‘Champ Champ. I mean, what guy just gives up his belt when someone else is home. Daddy is home, DC. Come prove to the man that you are the ‘Champ Champ.’ I’m here. Come get your belt back. I’m here.”
Those were Jon Jones’s exact words after taking down Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232. It was an obvious call-out to Daniel Cormier. Cormier relinquished his title one day before UFC 232 in surprising fashion.
One failed drug test and seventeen months of hard work, Jones is once again the UFC light-heavyweight champion. No matter where he went or what he did, the only thing that did not change was his obvious natural talent in the octagon.
This is the fourth time Jones is the light-heavyweight champion after being stripped of the 205-pound crown a record three times due to disciplinary and drug suspensions.
Jones went into the match with a much more tactical mindset, patiently tearing down Gustafsson’s defense with leg kicks and body shots. Taking only measured shots, Jones won the first two rounds on all three scorecards.
The 6 foot 4 American went on the aggressive early in the third round for the first takedown of the fight. Jones landed several hard left elbow strikes to Gustafsson’s head while trying to get the full mount. The two jockeyed and kept composed during the half guard until Gustafsson made a mistake and allowed Jones to get on the rear mount. Jones then unloaded with left-handed strikes, punctured by a right that forced referee Mike Beltran to intervene.
“This is great, this is a great feeling,” Jones said. “The main difference is that I was aware of how far away I was at all times. He landed very few punches in my face tonight. I really believe my team is the most dangerous team, especially when we get a rematch.”
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