The odds on Alexander Gustafsson emerging as victor against Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight belt this Sunday have lengthened over the last forty-eight hours, despite reports from bookmakers that just over 60% of punters have been backing the Swede to pull off an upset.
Jones’ odds have fallen to 4/11 from 1/3 whilst Gustafsson has seen his own odds move northwards towards 12/4, up slightly from a previous price of 11/4.
Career Defining Moment for Both Contenders
The event is UFC’s highest profile encounter of 2018 as a result of a long history between the two men. Jones, a controversial character at the best of times but generally considered to be the best MMA fighter on canvas right now, is returning to the ring for the first time in 17 months, having been banned from competing for 15 months after testing positive – for the second time in his career – for the performance-enhancing drug turinabol.
Originally due to be held in Nevada, the fight has been moved to California after the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled that it did not have enough time to evaluate the continuing presence of turinabol in Jones’ system. The Californian commission, however, which has been dealing with Jones’ case, has ruled that it satisfied that the turinabol found this time round does not pertain to a new ingestion.
Gustafsson – himself returning from a 15 month absence due to injury – along with his camp has remained silent on the subject of Jones’ continuing drugs controversies. The Swede appears quietly confident of claiming a first world title at the third time of asking in an outcome that would likely derail Jones’ longer term plans to reboot his career.