There are two types of people in the world – those who buy lottery tickets and those who do not. If you’re in the former category, you might be tempted to place a bet down on Alexander Gustafsson as a big +650 underdog in UFC 165’s main event against Jon “Bones” Jones Saturday night.
I am not one of those people, though I can understand the temptation. Gustafsson stands 6-foot-5 and is 15-1 in his MMA fights. He’s a well-rounded fighter and is athletic enough to at least be considered a threat to Jones. But really, there’s good reason Bones checks in as a -1250 favorite at Sports Interaction.
UFC president Dana White doesn’t usually discuss odds, but he went off the script a bit this week saying he didn’t necessarily mind if UFC fighters bet on fights, as long as they weren’t betting against themselves. He also offered his insight into Jones being set as such a big favorite in a title fight.
“I think that they’re making lines that they don’t want a lot of money going on Jones because they think Jones is going to win. That’s the way the book works,” White told reporters this week. “Jones is good, really good.”
That he is. Jones is probably the most dynamic striker on the planet and can land significant strikes from anywhere. He’s also comfortable on the ground and heads into this focused with his usual focus. At this point, he doesn’t have many critics, but he doesn’t have much time for those doubting him in this fight either.
“To be honest with you — and I know this might be controversial and it may get me a lot of backlash — my haters come across as the dumbest people ever,” Jones told reporters. “None of them have a real reason not to like me. ‘Oh, you’re too tall.’ ‘I don’t like you.’ Or, ‘You’re this or that.’ None of them come up with anything good or concrete, so I just find them funny.”
With the way Gustafsson and Jones can strike, you have to think this fight won’t make the difference. Anderson Silva’s loss a couple months ago reminded everyone that anything can happen in the octagon, so Gustafsson certainly has a puncher’s chance. That said, the best value here is to take Jones to win by KO, TKO or DQ, currently set at +150.