Jon Jones beats Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 to win light-heavyweight title

Jon Jones reclaimed the UFC light-heavyweight title with a third-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson.

Following a cagey opening two sessions which Jones edged by virtue of his superior striking, the former champion took the fight to the canvas in the third.

From there he dominated on the floor, landing first with his elbow and then with both hands to force referee Mike Beltran to wave the fight off.

Jones, who outpointed Gustafsson five years ago in their first thrilling encounter, forced the UFC to move the event from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at just five days’ notice.

A drug test earlier this month showed traced amounts of the same substance he tested positive for 18 months ago.

Jones was cleared by anti-doping agency USADA but the Nevada State Athletic Commission would not licence him to fight.

Instead the entire card was relocated to The Forum under the auspices of the Californian commission.

Jones lands on Gustafsson early in the fight

Jones’ kicking proved to be effective throughout

Jones delivers the final blows

Gustafsson was fighting for the first time in more than 18 months when he KO’d Glover Teixeira in the fifth round.

Jones, meanwhile, walked to the Octagon for the first time since the summer of 2017 when his win over Daniel Cormier was changed to a no contest after he tested positive for a steroid.

Cormier was reinstated as the 205lb champion and defended the belt against Volkam Ozdemir earlier this year.

He later added the heavyweight belt to his collection before vacating his first title earlier this week.

In the opening round of the rematch, Jones was admonished for a low blow.

He repeatedly targeted Gustafsson’s legs with his own as the Swede attempted to march forward.

Gustafsson, who was the first man to take Jones down in their first encounter, was unable to do so again in a cagey first five-minute session.

In the second, Jones suffered an accidental eye-poke but was cleared to continue as he landed his kicks to Gustafsson’s body.

The Swede began to find his striking rhythm midway through the round as he settled into the fight.

But it was Jones’ kicking which was proving the most effective weapon of the contest.

Jones lands to Gustafsson’s body

Gustafsson attempts to land a kick to Jones’ body

Jones took Gustafsson down and the end was nigh

And the American consolidated his dominance by taking Gustafsson to the canvas in the opening seconds of the third frame.

And from there he went through the levels to ensure he returns to the top of the division.

Jones said: “I was aware of how far away I was at all times. He landed very few punches on my face tonight.

“I know there’s a guy who’s been calling himself the champ-champ. I mean, what guy just gives up his belt? Daddy’s home, DC. Come get a taste. I’m here, come get your belt back.”

Earlier in the co-main event, bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes knocked out featherweight champion Cris Cyborg in the first round.

The Brazilian, who stopped Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds two years ago this weekend, needed just 51 seconds to become a two-weight champion.

A left hook-straight right combination sent an early warning to Cyborg who was riding a 21-fight winning streak.

Another combination put the champion on the canvas and although she rose, a stunning overhand right dropped her again and forced referee Marc Goddard to step in.

Nunes said: “I said I was going to be the first two-time champion in women’s UFC – and I did it!”

Amanda Nunes lands on Cris Cyborg

Nunes dropped Cyborg with an overhand right – and it was all over

Nunes celebrates becoming a double champion

UFC 232 results

Jon Jones bt Alexander Gustafsson via TKO

Amanda Nunes bt Cris Cyborg via KO

Michael Chiesa bt Carlos Condit via submission

Corey Anderson bt Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision

Alexander Volkanovski bt Chad Mendes via TKO

Walt Harris bt Andrei Arlovski via split decision

Megan Anderson bt Cat Zingano via TKO

Petr Yan bt Douglas Silva de Andrade via TKO

Ryan Hall bt BJ Penn via submission

Uriah Hall bt Bevon Lewis via TKO


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