The UFC 165 pay-per-view headliner saw Jon Jones take on Alexander Gustafsson in a bout that became an instant classic. The fight went the full 5 rounds, and regardless of how you scored the contest, it surely ended up as one of the best light heavyweight bouts in the history of the UFC.
For majority of the first four rounds, each man landed their shots. Gustafsson was able to connect early and often with punches, landing damaging shots from crisp boxing that left the champion busted up and bleeding. Jones was able to land several kicks and elbows of his own, but even on the opening rounds, it was already clear that this was the fight where the dominant light heavyweight kingpin took the most shots and damage on his entire career.
Jones seemed to be on his way to losing another round during the fourth, but the champion dug deep and was able to land hard elbows during the last minute, badly hurting Gustafsson the challenger and putting him on survival mode up until the bell rang. Both men were worn out by the time the 5th round got underway, but they both still showed tremendous heart and guts as they threw everything they got and put on a show until the final buzzer. The final decision may have been a bit controversial for a lot of people, but no one can deny that it was a bout for the ages and was truly a sight to see. To me Jones vs. Gustafsson had everything they were saying about the classic Griffin vs. Bonnar match up, and even more. The final result: Jon Jones def. Alexander Gustafsson by Decision (Unanimous), (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
What was the high point?
The drama surrounding the 4th round. Gustafsson seemed on his way to winning another round, when Jones landed some hard shots including a beautiful spinning back elbow that staggered the challenger and swung the momentum in his favor. Gustafsson survived, and while most still felt he did enough to earn the decision overall, we definitely would have had a new champion had he avoided that barrage during the last 30 seconds. He didn’t do enough to convince the judges though, so now Jones holds the record for most title defenses in UFC history.
What was the low point?
During the fight itself, not much really. Jones was taken to the hospital on a stretcher though, and there was word about a possible leg injury that he suffered, so we may not see him back in the Octagon very soon.
Where do they go from here?
Despite the three judges not ruling in his favor, Alexander Gustafsson’s stock rose tremendously that night. He constantly tagged Jones, stuffed takedowns, and even landed one of his own during the fight, as he definitely cemented his place at the top of the division. Jones is still the champ though, and barring any lengthy stay away from the cage from injuries he may have suffered, Dana White has said that up next would either be an immediate rematch, or another title defense against top contender, Glover Teixeira.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it now. It’s an instant classic you wouldn’t want to miss. It’s definitely the best light heavyweight title fight ever, and easily one of the best bouts in UFC history.
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