Jon Jones is back, and the oddsmakers like his chances to reclaim his belt.
With his rematch against Alexander Gustafsson finally official for Dec. 29, Jones opened as a heavy betting favorite to defeat his Swedish rival at UFC 232 and recapture the light heavyweight title he never lost inside the cage. Popular sports betting website Bovada opened Jones as a near 3-to-1 favorite (-280) to beat Gustafsson on Wednesday afternoon, while Gustafsson opened as more than a 2-to-1 underdog (+220).
Two-division champion Daniel Cormier is currently the UFC light heavyweight titleholder, however he will be stripped of that title once UFC 232 begins and Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 will be contested for the vacant belt.
Jones and Gustafsson met once before at UFC 165 in one of the most memorable fights in the history of the light heavyweight division. Jones ultimately bested Gustafsson via a contentious unanimous decision, however “The Mauler” performed better than any opponent ever has against “Bones,” winning the first two rounds and forcing Jones to rally back from the brink of defeat.
Both men have had strange roads since.
Gustafsson has only fought five times in the five years since UFC 165, winning three of those contests, including two straight over Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira. Jones, meanwhile, has been caught in myriad scandals since UFC 165, including two separate instances of failed drug tests in 2016 and 2017. Jones is currently serving a 15-month suspension for the latter drug-testing failure and is eligible to fight again on Oct. 28.
UFC 232 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Updated Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 betting odds can be found below.
Jon Jones: -280 (5/14)
Alexander Gustafsson: +220 (11/5)