Technical strikers, those that have a better grasp of timing, footwork and distance control etc, are the fighters that have caused Jon Jones the most problems in his UFC career to date.
Lyoto Machida has arguably looked the most likely to inflict a true loss on Jones, but perhaps failed to go for broke when he had the champion rattled.
Alexander Gustafsson is next to attempt to win Jones’ light-heavyweight title at UFC 165 and is priced at 19/4 to triumph. A victory for Jones would be a sixth successful title defence, which would be a new UFC light-heavyweight record.
Striking is Gustafsson’s biggest strength, but he is not as technical as the likes of Machida, relying slightly more on outright power.
Because he is a tall light-heavyweight, he often enjoys a reach advantage when inside the Octagon, but even he is conceding reach to Jones.
This will make life tougher, while Gustafsson’s obvious weakness is on the ground, even though he has improved in this area in recent years.
Jones may adopt a similar strategy to when beating Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, who was another fighter that was at his most dangerous when trading punches.
On that occasion, Jones was quick to wrap up Rampage in clinches and then attempt to use his superior wrestling skills.
If Jones takes Gustafsson down, the fight could be over quickly, with a flurry of elbows possible from a ground-and-pound position or, the option of looking for some type of submission.
Furthermore, Gustafsson has never previously gone beyond three rounds, so if he can survive into the Championship rounds, it is unknown how much he will have left in the tank.
Jones is 1/8 in the UFC odds to beat Gustafsson, which is as good as free money, while the 11/10 offered on the fight finishing in under 2.5 rounds holds plenty of appeal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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