Two of the biggest light heavyweights in history will collide at UFC 165.
Seventy-six inches or 81.2 inches.
Depending on if you’re with Team Jones or Team Gustaffson you are likely to believe one figure over the other.
While it might just be just 5.2 inches, that is the discrepancy between Alexander Gustaffson’s reach in the lead up to his bout against Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title.
Much has been made of Gustaffson’s size before the bout with many tipping the Swede fighter has the physical tools to match it with Jones.
The reigning champion has the staggering reach of 84.5 inches, the longest in record history in the UFC and has been said he can shake hands with fans in the front row and kick his opponent on the other side of the octagon.
But Gustaffson is not buying into the hype saying while his reach is not as short as many say, it is about how he uses it next weekend that will determine the fight.
“It’s not always about reach,” Gustaffson said.
“It’s about footwork. It’s about being fast, getting in and out. I’m really making sure I’ve done my homework there. I’m super motivated.”
The Swede said he will look to do most of his work from the outside when the fight is on the feet, however, that is the same plan Jones has detailed, at least publicly, in the countdown to the fight.
“With me, I’ve gone through some fights where fighters have only punched me once. I mean, I fought (Quinton) ‘Rampage’ Jackson, and he hit me, like, twice in the whole fight, Lyoto Machida was able to touch my face twice in the whole fight,” Jones said.
“(I’m) fighting against the best guys in the world, and a lot of them never even get a chance to punch me in the face throughout the fight. So I just believe I use my timing, my rhythm, my distance a lot better than him. I think the proof is in the pudding.”
This similar game plan could make for one of the most exciting fights in recent memory or one where both fighters bore the fans to death with a stalemate as they are afraid to pull the trigger, given what is on the line to the victor.