UFC Betting Guide: UFC 232
UFC 232 is possibly the most controversial event to ever take place. Why? When Jon Jones was found to have a banned substance in his system, instead of cancelling the event, Dana White moved the whole operation from Las Vegas to California.
What Does This Mean?
This means that all fans that had bought a ticket for UFC 232 have to go to California and buy another ticket. All the fighters have to pay more tax on their fight purse. When questioned by journalists, Dana White has not let any fighters answer questions and in the pre-fight press conference he told various people to speak to 'the experts' but nobody knows who these experts are. This is a very shady few days for the UFC.
What Happens Now
For fight fans around the world that has wanted to see this fight nothing changes. We still get to see a fight card, one of the best of the year at that. The time difference is also still the same so you can still watch the card on BT Sport.
Beyond The Controversy
Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones returns to face his old foe Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, December 29th 2018, The Forum, Inglewood, California.
Jon Jones stinks of controversy with every fight. However, Jones, who's highly touted as the best fighter to ever take to the cage will face the Swedish 'Mauler' in the rematch, which many thought he won. No man has ever been able to match Jones' intensity and skill in the cage but Gustafsson was able to do just that. In one of the best fights in UFC history, the Swede was able to match Jones toe-to-toe, strike for strike. 5 years on and much has changed with Jones undergoing many personal issues, court battles and problems with USADA and Gustafsson has been willing to sit on the side waiting for his second shot at the GOAT. The fight community are anticipating another classic so sit back, relax and watch two of the divison's best go head to head. The winner has many different options with moves to heavyweight and super fights on the cards too.
A Timeline of Jon Jones Incidents
March 2011 - Jon Jones becomes the youngest champion in UFC history. After the fight he revealed he had 'taken down' a thief in the street and put him in a choke hold while police officers arrived.
May 2012 - Jon Jones crashed his Bentley into a traffic pole after drinking and partying.
August 2014 - After a 2 year dominant streak Jones and Cormier fight after a staredown gets heated. The fight breaks out knocking over fans, cameraman and destroying the UFC set. He was fined 40 hours on community service.
January 2015 - three days after beating Cormier he checks into Rehab. He was treated for cocaine addiction.
April 2015 - Jones involved in a hit-and-run with a pregnant women. He crashed into her and ran off, leaving her bleeding and injured. He avoids jail and it put on probation.
March 2016 - He breaks probation and ends up in jail. When stopped by a police officer he abuses him and makes fun of the police.
July - December 2016 - He fails a drug test and is suspended by USADA. He is then stripped of UFC title.
July 2017 - He returns to the cage and wins back his UFC title. But is then found to have taken drugs and is stripped of the title again.
December 2018 - Jones is found to have a banned substance in his system. The UFC move the event to another venue where he can get licensed.
Bet UK UFC 232 Betting Tips
Bet UK has a group of fight markets with excellent UFC betting odds and price boosts for all the big events. The resident Bet UK MMA writer gives his predictions for the upcoming fights - in his last set of predictions he was one fight off a full house, so follow here:
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Jones is 23-1 with a DQ loss, so he's actually never been defeated. 'Bones' has won nearly 50% of his fights by KO with 2 wins over two-weight world champion Daniel Cormier. Jones is perhaps the most talented fighter to ever fight in the UFC but his issues outside of the Octagon has halted his progress and tarnished his legacy. Having said that, we don't bet on legacy. Jones is fighting for the first time since 2015 so how much could ring rust affect him? If you were to design a fighting machine with the power, athleticism, reach and all the best features of anyone on the planet it would be Jon Jones. He's aggressive with excellent wrestling, he took Cormier down with ease who's an elite Olympic wrestler and highly thought of in the wrestling community. There will always be an air of controversy around Jones but no one can take his talent away.
Alexander Gustafsson's career has been marked by Daniel Cormier, having lost in a 5-round split decision at UFC 192 in 2015. However, there is no such thing as MMA math, because styles make fights but there are so many other factors from weight cuts to injuries. The Swede just has the style that matches Jones better than anyone. Why? Because he's got the same body type, he can match the reach and wrestling ability of 'Bones'. The last time they fought it really could've gone either way.
This is Jones' final chance to make a legacy run and fulfil his potential. A loss to Gustafsson seriously harms his career and if any more issues outside of the sport arise once again I don't know how long the UFC can keep giving him fights. This is the most important fight of his life.
Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes
'Cyborg' holds a record of 20-1 with nearly all fights been won by knockout. Her fights usually end with the destruction of her opponents. She is finding it hard to find opponents in the UFC. Her aggression and pressure is non-stop and she has shown she has a tough chin which makes things even harder for her opponents. The argument is that Amanda Nunes has faced better opponents throughout her UFC career, with 2 wins over Valentina Shevchenko and a win over Ronda Rousey. Nunes, in my opinion is the first real test Cyborg has raced at elite level. Nunes has quality striking, cardio and she trains at one of the best gyms in North America with American Top Team. The real story here is going to be if both fighters make it into the cage on the night. Cyborg some in as odds on but the real value here is with Amanda Nunes.
Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa
This is a great clash of styles, Condit is aggressive yet flashy whereas Chiesa likes to make it a rough and ready dogfight. Condit, once champion, is coming off a 4-fight losing streak with a submission loss in his last fight against Alex Oliveira. Condit, in his prime was certainly one of the better fighters in the sport, with only 2 of his 30 wins going the distance. But we have to question his hunger for the sport. After his recent bad form Condit has been playing with retirement. It's a bad run and in all honestly it seems as though the former welterweight champion is looking for one more win to be able to retire on a high.
Chiesa is doing his best to be great, he his vocal in press conference and tries to sell fights, so he's doing all the fight things. He has a wrestling base with good BJJ and scrambles. Chiesa has wins over Jim Miller and Francisco Trinaldo but with two losses in his last two fights he needs to turn his fortunes around. I'm going with Chiesa here, I believe he's hungry and the momentum if any is with him. Condit struggles with ground fighters and with two submission losses in his last four fights, the writing could be on the wall.
Ilir Latifi vs. Corey Anderson
Latifi has won 5 of his last 6 fights with his last win coming against OSP. The Swede is heavy handed and has a low centre of gravity so he can really dig his hips into every strike. His background in boxing is well documented but he has also shown that he is confident on the canvas with 5 submission wins throughout his career. He is a well-rounded fighter who can certainly make his claim for a title shot. Latifi could go one of two ways, either make a claim and a run but he will need the stars to align, or become a great gatekeeper of the division taking home some fight night bonuses, this is unclear yet, but if Jones or Gustafsson don't make it to the cage he will be on hand to fill in.
Corey Anderson is in a similar position, he's won 3 of his last 6 fights with an impressive win of Glover Teixeira. He's been hit and miss throughout his UFC career so this fight on one of the biggest cards of the year, will be his chance to set himself up for a great 2019. Anderson comes in with a big reach advantage and a bigger frame, which could spell trouble for the Swede. 3 of his 4 losses have come via KO/TKO and his chin will be tested by Latifi. I'm going with Latifi in this one, if he can get on the inside he can put the lights out early as he always sets a fast pace.
Chad Mendes vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Chad Mendes was granted a red panty night in 2015 by Conor McGregor, which he looked like winning until McGregor dug deep and finished him off with body and head shots. Since then he lost against Frankie Edgar and was then banned for 2 years after been caught taking growth hormones. In his return fight in 2018 he fought Myles Jury in Boise, Idaho and won by KO in the very first stanza. Mendes will be looking to get back to winning ways and put a consistent run together once again and climb back to that number one contender spot. Mendes is widely considered one of the best featherweights in the UFC and has been since migrating over from the WEC.
The man in front of him is Alexander Volkanovski, a tough Australian who's on a 15-fight winning streak, including a perfect 5 in 5 in under the UFC banner. He's not got the wrestling pedigree of Mendes but I don't see this fight going to the canvas. Both guys has great power for the weight class so this won't be going the distance. The first guys to land a flush shot wins for me, excellent odds at Bet UK for under 2.5 rounds.
*All odds from Bet UK’s online sportsbook correct at the time of writing.
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