UFC 232 is now available on Amazon Prime.
Alexander Gustafsson remains the only fighter to ever come close to legitimately beating Jon Jones. In fact, many believe “The Mauler” got the best of the former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder when they met at UFC 165, despite losing a unanimous decision. Gustafsson will face Jones for a second time in the UFC 232 headliner on Dec. 29 in Inglewood, California.
As the MMA universe awaits the rematch, here are some of the numbers that have come to define Gustafsson:
16: Years old when he won the junior national boxing championship in his native Sweden. Gustafsson was 10 when he started training in the Sweet Science. In 2008-09, he briefly returned to boxing, winning a few tournaments and even beating the heavyweight champion at the time.
19: Years old when he started training MMA. Gustafsson made his professional debut at a Shooto event in Lahti, Finland, where he submitted Saku Heikola in the second round.
8: Wins without a loss before getting signed by the UFC. He fought mostly in regional promotions and had a notable victory over European rising star Florian Muller. Gustafsson dealt the German prospect only the second loss of his career.
41: Seconds needed to complete a successful Octagon debut. In one of the most impressive debuts in UFC history, Gustafsson knocked down Jared Hamman with a straight right. It was the beginning of the end for the American.
5: Seconds left in the first round when Gustafsson tapped to an anaconda choke from Phil Davis. The American wrestler dealt the Swede the first loss of his career.
6: Consecutive victories after suffering his first setback. Gustafsson ran through a string of top-quality opponents, which included Cyrille Diabate, James Te Huna, Matt Hamill, Vladimir Matyushenko, Thiago Silva and Mauricio Rua.
72: Significant strikes landed against Rua, who countered with only 41. It was striker versus striker at UFC on Fox 5 and represented Gustafsson’s biggest test at the time. He passed with flying colors. “The Mauler” also got the upper hand in the wrestling department, as he bested Rua in the takedown department by a 6-to-1 margin.
1: Split decision in his career. It happened against Daniel Cormier at UFC 192. The two top light heavyweights went toe to toe, with the current champion getting his hand raised after five hard-fought rounds.
4: “Fight of the Night” awards won. Given his aggressive style, it is no surprise that Gustafsson has been the recipient of performance bonuses on four separate occasions.
9: Countries in which he has fought as a professional mixed martial artist. The lanky striker has displayed his talents in Sweden, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Poland, England, Australia, Canada, Germany and the United States.
8: First-round finishes to his credit. Gustafsson’s timing and accuracy have allowed him to connect early in many of his fights, as discovered by Hamman, Te Huna, Matyushenko, Mikael Haydari, Farbod Fadami, Matteo Minonzio, Pedro Quetglas and Vladimir Shemarov.
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