I’m ready for Jones, says studious Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson is convinced that his meticulous homework will help him pass his toughest-ever exam this weekend.

Swedish bruiser Gustafsson challenges world light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 165 in Toronto and has been spending endless hours swotting up on him.

Gustafsson, 26, said: “My coaching team and myself have been breaking down his fights into pieces and have gone through everything. I’ve been studying everything about him and training with a lot of guys who fight the same as Jon.

“I’ve been training my butt off and I just improve every day. I’m feeling great and I can’t wait. I’ll be ready.”

Gustafsson, who has an MMA record of 15-1-0, will have a reach disadvantage against Jones, also 26. But he said: “It’s not always about reach. It’s about footwork, it’s being fast, in and out.”

Jones (18-1-0) became the youngest fighter to capture a UFC title and has successfully defended his belt five times. That ties him with ex-champion Tito Ortiz as the most successful light-heavyweight and now he aims to pass the mark.

He said: “I’ve set a lot of goals and becoming the greatest light-heavyweight record-wise is definitely a big one.”

He would also like to surpass Anderson Silva’s record for the most consecutive UFC title defences in any division. Silva’s record ended at 10 when he lost to Chris Weidman at UFC 162 and Jones said: “That motivates me a lot to keep moving forward.”

He said of Gustafsson: “I’ve been fighting the best guys in the world and a lot of them never even get the chance to punch me in the face. I use my timing, my rhythm, my distance a lot better than him and I think the proof is in the pudding.”

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