Something rare happened after last night’s UFC 165 main event: Jon “Bones” Jones ended up taking a trip to the hospital.
Jones had successfully defended the UFC Light Heavyweight against Swedish fighter Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson.
Yet this was not like any of Jones’ past victories. The champion did not dominate the match, like he had in his previous title defenses against Quinton Jackson or Lyoto Machida. Instead, the Mauler managed to go the distance with Jones in what the champion called “the hardest fight in his career.” Jones would end up getting the decision win.
Although Gustafsson lost the fight, he loses nothing this defeat. In fact, his stock can only go up from here.
Last night, Jones proved that he is the best light heavyweight champion in the company’s history. Gustafsson proved that he is the second-best fighter at 205. He matched Jones in terms of reach, height and power.
During the early rounds of the fight, Gustafsson stuffed all but one of Jones’ takedown attempts and also became the first man in UFC history to score a takedown on the light heavyweight champion. The Mauler also landed a blow above the champions’ eye that resulted in a cut that would been stopped in the final round had the champion and referee John McCarthy begged the doctors not to stop the fight.
Despite the damage from Gustafsson’s striking, Jones was able to mount offense and do enough in the fight to earn the judges’ decision.
Because of the close nature of the decision, it would be great to see these two fight again. UFC President Dana White agreed to the possibility to do a rematch between Jones and Gustafsson, though Glover Teixeira is also slated to have a shot at the light heavyweight title.
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