‘Bones’ Jones is a big favorite to win title in return to UFC
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.
Jon Jones, shown after winning a fight in 2016, returns to the UFC in December with a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson.