Alexander Gustafsson became the first person to really test UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. At UFC 165, Jones kept his belt but it was the toughest task of his career. According to Gustafsson’s trainer and Alliance MMA head coach Eric Del Fierro, their confidence came in the Sweden’s ability to stop takedowns.
“The main thing we had to get in Alex’s head is once you stop the takedowns, you can do whatever you want and let’s pressure forward,” said Fierro on Sherdog Radio. “That’s what we were looking to get in Alex’s mind. Trust me, Alex has evolved as a mixed martial artist and his wrestling has come up leaps and bounds.”
Stopping takedowns helped as Gustafsson dropped a fight that some thought he won. All three judges scored in favor of Jones. Two scored it 48-47 and one had 49-46.
Jones is expected to take on Glover Teixeira in 2014. Gustafsson has no return date.
Both fighters are currently serving 60 day medical suspensions from their UFC 165 contest. It was September 21 and came from the Air Canada Centre.