The light heavyweight rivalry between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson ended with Jones finishing Alexander Gustafsson in the third round at UFC 232 last December to claim the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight championship at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
The rematch was nothing like the first fight, as this time Jones completely mauled Gustafsson and finished him. Jones set the pace in the opening round, as he hit Gustafsson with brutal leg kicks and cracked him with sharp hands and ultimately knocked him out in the third round. However, Gustafsson is convinced that an early knee to his groin by Jones affected him throughout the match.
“I just didn’t perform like I used to,” Gustafsson said. “I didn’t have the footwork going. And I have no excuses, it’s not that. It’s just like, after when he got me with that knee, I couldn’t really find the rhythm again. I just, I couldn’t move like I did before. I just had a lot of pain after that, and I’ve never had that type of pain in my career before in a fight. Of course, you have pain, you get shots from everywhere and you get back, you just keep pushing. But he just stopped me right there, and I tried to move, work it with my footwork, try to kick him or attack, be explosive. But none of that worked. I just couldn’t with my groin.
“So that’s basically it, and he took me down. Nobody can hold me down. Nobody can hold me down. Not DC, not Jon. Nobody. When he took me down there and when he finished me, I couldn’t move because of my groin. He just passed, he just went to half guard and just went up and did the crucifix stuff on me — and nobody does that to me. I wasn’t 100 percent. I just felt that I had so much pain in my groin that I couldn’t really get back into my rhythm again. And with that said, I don’t use this as an excuse or anything like that. He did what he had to do to beat me, and Jon is the best guy out there, so I don’t feel like I’m thinking about that loss nowadays. It is what it is and I just move forward now.” (h/t- MMA fighting)
Alexander Gustafsson is all set to face Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night 152 in Stockholm, Sweden on June 1.
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Alexander Gustafsson vs Anthony Smith set to headline UFC Stockholm card