UFC 247 free fight: Jon Jones leaves no doubt in Alexander Gustafsson rematch

Few people have pushed Jon Jones harder than Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. But, in their rematch of their all-time great first clash, Jones (25-1 MMA, 19-1 UFC) asserted his dominance with a clinical display.

The first meeting between the pair is still considered one of the greatest fights in UFC history. While many initially thought Jones would run through another opponent, Gustafsson proved otherwise as he stood toe-to-toe with the champion, and even took him down to the mat. The big Swede hurt and bloodied Jones as the two battled for five grueling rounds. But ultimately, it was Jones whose hand was raised after a fight that some observers felt he might have lost. To this day, it’s arguably the toughest fight Jones has ever endured inside the octagon.

But Jones would get an opportunity to silence the doubters when the pair were scheduled to meet again for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title more than five years later at UFC 232.

The matchup panned out significantly differently to their first encounter as, early on, Jones looked to utilize the clinch effectively, throwing knees and elbows as soon as Gustafsson tried to exit. Gustafsson threw a few leg kicks early, as the two traded jabs from the outside.

In Round 2, both fighters continued to trade, with Jones mixing up his attack from the legs to the body. An accidental eye poke by Gustafsson caused a break in the action, but the fight resumed shortly after. Gustafsson opened up with his strikes as he looked to push the pace, and found a home for his shots on numerous occasions. But while “The Mauler” was head-hunting, Jones’ focus on the Swede’s legs started to to pay dividends, with Gustafsson’s movement clearly affected by the end of the round.

Then, 30 seconds into Round 3, Jones shot in for a perfectly-timed takedown that spelled the beginning of the end for Gustafsson. From half guard, to side control, to his patented crucifix, and finally back mount, Jones beautifully transitioned and aggressively dropped numerous elbows until referee Mike Beltran, decided that he had seen enough and waved off the fight.

It was a much more definitive win for Jones as he closed the chapter, buried the rivalry and left no doubt about his superiority as he reclaimed the UFC’s 205-pound strap.

Jones returns to action on Feb. 8, when he puts his title on the line against undefeated contender Dominick Reyes in the main event of UFC 247 in Houston.

In the meantime, check out the video above to recap Jones’ dominant performance.