If you’ve been watching the promos for UFC 165 or reading pre-fight analysis, then you know that there’s a few folks who believe Alexander Gustafsson will test Jon Jones. How so? While there are different theories, one of the more common ones is that Gustafsson has a shot due to his striking skills, and that unlike most of the champ’s previous challengers he rivals Jones in size.
While both men are 6’4 and Gustafsson certainly wouldn’t be described as ‘tiny’, Jones still holds a reach advantage (as always) over the Swedish contender. So while discussing Jones’ legendary reach, and the impact it might play in their September 21st bout, here’s what Gustafsson had to say (comments via MMA Junkie.com):
“My reach is not 76.5,” Gustafsson said during a medial call Tuesday. “It’s 81.2. I just wanted to mention that.”
“It’s not always about reach,” the contender furthered, while discussing Jones’ 84.5 inch wingspan. “It’s about footwork. It’s about being fast, getting in and out. I’m really making sure I’ve done my homework there. I’m super motivated.”
“I will win this fight by staying on the outside.”
Wow. That would certainly shock a few people, but Gustafsson isn’t getting a title shot no reason. Jones also stated during the call that he believes he uses his reach better than Gustafsson, and argued he “gets hit a lot with a lot of different punches.” We’ll see how each man’s strategy plays out soon enough.