‘Bones’ Jones is a big fa­vorite to win ti­tle in re­turn to UFC

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS - BY RICK WRIGHT JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

Odd­s­mak­ers have in­stalled Al­bu­querque res­i­dent Jon “Bones” Jones as a heavy fa­vorite to re­gain his UFC light heavy­weight ti­tle when he faces Swe­den’s Alexan­der Gustafs­son in Las Ve­gas, Nev., on Dec. 29.

Fri­day, the UFC made of­fi­cial what had been re­ported on­line — ini­tially by espn.com — two days ear­lier. Jones will face Gustafs­son on UFC 232 in a re­match of their mem­o­rable 2013 fight, which Jones won by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

The open­ing odds on Jones are mi­nus-280, which means a bet of $280 would pro­duce win­nings of $100. The line on Gustafs­son is plus-220, mean­ing a bet of $100 would pro­duce win­nings of $220.

Daniel Cormier, who holds the UFC light heavy­weight and heavy­weight ti­tles, has agreed to re­lin­quish the light heavy­weight belt to ac­com­mo­date Jones-Gustafs­son.

Jones de­feated Cormier for the sec­ond time July 29, 2017, briefly re­gain­ing the light heavy­weight ti­tle he first won in 2011. But af­ter Jones tested pos­i­tive

for Turin­abol, an an­abolic steroid, the fight was de­clared no con­test and Cormier was re­in­stated as light heavy­weight cham­pion.

While con­cur­ring with Jones’ con­tention that he did not in­ten­tion­ally in­gest a banned sub­stance, the United States An­tiDrug Agency sus­pended Jones for 15 months dat­ing to the pos­i­tive test. Jones will be­come el­i­gi­ble to fight on Oct. 29.

The rel­a­tively long odds fac­ing Gustafs­son (18-4) might seem sur­pris­ing, given the rugged test the Swedish fighter gave Jones (221) in their first fight. Two of the three judges that night had Jones win­ning by just one round, 48-47. Gustafs­son was strong in the early rounds and would have won on the score­cards had it been a three­r­ound, non-ti­tle fight. But Jones took rounds four and five on all three of­fi­cial score­cards.

Odd­s­mak­ers, per­haps, are unim­pressed by Gustafs­son’s 3-2 record since his loss to Jones. But Jones, twice sus­pended for dop­ing vi­o­la­tions — in nei­ther case was it de­ter­mined he’d in­ten­tion­ally in­gested a banned sub­stance —

has fought only twice in the last 45 months.

EAST­ERN QUAL­I­FIER: In Chat­tanooga, Tenn., Las Cruces ama­teur box­ers Ari­ana Car­rasco and Josce­lyn Olayo-Muñoz won ti­tles in their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions this week at the USA Box­ing East­ern Qual­i­fier and Re­gional Open.

Al­bu­querque’s Abra­ham Perez has reached the fi­nal of his weight class. He’s sched­uled to face Roscoe Hill of Las Ve­gas, Nev., in tonight’s Elite Di­vi­sion 114-pound cham­pi­onship match. The fi­nal ses­sion will be streamed at https://www.tea­musa.org/ usa-box­ing.

Car­rasco, in win­ning the Ju­nior Fe­male 125-pound ti­tle, de­feated Emma Gos­sett of Knoxville, Tenn., and Melisssa Hol­guin of San An­to­nio, Texas.

Olayo-Muñoz, in win­ning the Ban­tam Fe­male 70-pound ti­tle, de­feated An­gela Zu­niga of Dal­las and Alyssa Her­nan­dez of Mid­land, Texas.

All of Car­rasco’s and Olay­oMuñoz’s vic­to­ries were by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

In reach­ing tonight’s cham­pi­onship bout, Perez de­feated Jule Jack­son of Sick­lerville, N.J.,

Samir Alow­bali of Buf­falo, N.Y., and Tim­o­thy Lon­go­ria of Pala­cios, Texas, all by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

USA-GER­MANY: In Chat­tanooga, Al­bu­querque ama­teur boxer Sharahya Moreu was with­drawn from her sched­uled bout Fri­day in a U.S.-Ger­many dual com­pe­ti­tion.

Moreu, stag­gered once by a right hand and then knocked down by an­other right, lost by first-round TKO last Satur­day to Ger­many’s Sarah Scheurich. She was scratched from her bout Fri­day against Irina Schon­berger.

AP FILE

Jon Jones, shown af­ter win­ning a fight in 2016, re­turns to the UFC in De­cem­ber with a re­match against Alexan­der Gustafs­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.