UFC 165 Results: Jon Jones Takes Decision Victory in Epic Battle with Alexander Gustafsson

September 22, 2013
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Jon-Jones-UFC-136-368-478x270Heading into UFC 165 on Saturday night, Jon Jones was tied with UFC Hall of Famer and MMA legend Tito Ortiz for the most light heavyweight title defenses in company history, with five.  However, Swedish stand-up artist Alexander Gustafsson had plans of his own and if Jones was going to earn his record-breaking sixth title defense, “The Mauler” was going to make sure he would have to go through hell and back to achieve his goal.

In front of the raucous Canadian faithful inside the packed Air Canada Centre in Toronto, not only did Gustafsson unleash his own version of MMA-hell on “Bones,” but both fighters, in the process, earned the adoration and respect of all across the MMA landscape, in what will surely go down as one of the greatest title fights in UFC history.

Round one opened with Gustafsson taking the reigns almost immediately.  The Swede stalked the youngest champion in UFC history with a purpose and displayed a beautiful array of combination punching and cage control.  As Jones looked to create distance with lead leg kicks and popping jabs, the 26-year-old challenger plodded forward with unrelenting focus and determination.

As the opening frame wore on, a distinct look of concern loomed over the face of the champion. It may have not been “worry” necessarily, but it was certainly a visual that fans of the New York-native had never seen before.

Gustafsson employed a textbook lead left hook that he used to control and counter the champion almost at will.  Each time Jones managed any semblance of offense, the Swede managed to stymie the aggression with quickness.

By the end of the round Jones was bloodied with a deep gash over his right eye form the onslaught of combination punching by the challenger.  Not only did the young European manage to best Jones in the stand-up department; round one also saw Gustafsson earn an impressive takedown on the reigning kingpin of the light heavyweight division – the first takedown “Bones” had suffered in his entire career in the Octagon.

Round two was a close round by all accounts.  As Gustafsson attempted to use the blueprint from round one, Jones began to use his reach and ripped off a few successful body kicks, and one devastating head kick to the chin of the Swede.   As Jones worked his stand-up arsenal, the challenger continued the onslaught of combination punching and lead left hooks.  Midway through the frame, Jones had attempted five takedowns in what was surely a reaction to The Mauler’s unrelenting stand-up attack… with zero coming to fruition.

The second stanza ended with Gustafsson landing a thudding hook that put an authoritative stamp on a wildly exciting round.

Round three was more of the same as the two strikers engaged in stand-up exchanges every few second.  Gustafsson continued to use his combination punching in the round, and worked a very effective lead uppercut, that jacked the jaw of Bones on more than one occasion.  As the round came to a close, Jones landed a ripping body kick to the side of the challenger that left him in visible discomfort.  However, Gustafsson managed to gain his composure and fought off the pressuring Jones as the horn sounded.

The next two rounds were indeed the “championship rounds” as a bloodied Jones – who spent the prior three rounds being out-wrestled and out-struck – mustered up one of the more amazing momentum-shifting rallies in recent MMA memory.

Round four opened with a straight left from Jones that immediately stopped Gustafsson in his tracks.  He then followed with a right hand that was sent sharply down the center of Gustafsson’s guard, backing the challenger up. Gustafsson then began to pressure back with his now signature flurries, lead left hook and well-timed uppercuts.  With two minutes left in the round Gustafsson was leading Jones in head strikes at an 88-18 clip – an amazing stat when considering how stellar Jones has been during his entire UFC career.

Even more impressive was the fact that, up until this point, Gustafsson had also stopped all nine of Jones’ takedown attempts.

As the seconds ticked away, the fight was close, but it was obvious Gustafsson had the lion’s share of violence to his credit.

And just as the final minute approached in round four, the entire fight changed as Jones unleashed one of his signature spinning elbows to an oncoming Gustafsson.  With that one elbow, Jones sent his opponent reeling on weak footing against the cage.  Gustafsson’s eyes glazed over as the Jon Jones we have all been accustomed to seeing began to eye the kill.

A weakened and exhausted Alexander Gustafsson stumbled away from the elbow, as Jones followed up with a succession of standing elbows and punches.  Jones followed the challenger as he retreated back into the cage, and ripped knees to the face of Gustafsson from the Thai clinch.

The round ended with Gustafsson in obvious trouble, and Jones taking real momentum for the first in the entire fight.

If Jones was going to retain his title, and in the process break Tito Ortiz’s record, many though he would need a stoppage – as a handful of pundits had Jones down three rounds to one.

With both men cut, battered, and in the midst of the fight of their lives, they met in the center of the cage for their final five minutes of championship glory.

Gustafsson had seemingly recovered from the beating he took at the end of round four, and was back to using his lateral movement and combination punching.  With both men tiring, “Bones” spat a glob of blood onto the mat, as Gustafsson plodded forward. Jones looked to use his kicks, both high and low, to slow his pressuring opponent.

Midway through the fifth, Gustafsson began to tire – so much so, that at one point he dropped his hands to his sides in complete exhaustion.  With that, Jones took advantage of the slowing Swede and reeled off consecutive head kicks that rocked the challenger.  This round also saw Jones earn his one and only takedown, on his tenth and final attempt.

With the final seconds rapidly approaching, Jones unleashed a flying knee to seal the deal, and hopefully, at least in his mind, put a stamp on the fifth round, and in the process winning the fight.

The anticipation waiting for the official scorecards to be read was unlike any in recent memory.  Debate ran rampant across the MMA universe.  Was it 3-2 for Jones? 3-2 for Gustafsson?

Whatever the case, almost everyone unanimously agreed that the UFC 165 main event was the front-runner for the Fight of the Year in 2013.

The scorecards read 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 for your winner “and… STILL UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones!”

As UFC announcer Bruce Buffer announced the winner, the MMA world exhaled in unison.

Jon Jones is still the best in the world. And after tonight, he will have the signature fight on his resume to prove it… sentiments that the record breaking champion echoed post-fight.

“I’ve been asking for a dog fight for a long time, and tonight I got one,” said the 26-year-old champion.

“Hats off to Alex, that was by far the toughest fight I’ve ever had.”

For Jones, retaining the belt and breaking Ortiz’s record was a huge feather in his already growing cap.  But the main event at UFC 165 was about something more than wins and losses for Jones; it was about showing the world that he has what it takes to be a champion for many years to come.

“I got to exercise my warrior spirit tonight,” he said. “That was more important than the victory in my opinion.”

When asked if there was any urgency to finish the fight in the later rounds, Jones didn’t shy away from an honest assessment.

“You know, I knew the rounds were really tough,” said Jones. “It’s safe to say I had some desperation. I was trying to stay focused. Alex was definitely game. He definitely has a chin on him.”

Post-fight a dejected but composed Gustafsson took to the mic to praise the greatest champion in 205-pound history.

“It’s just an honor to fight the champ,” said the challenger. “And he is the champ for a reason. I will learn from this and come back much stronger. I’m just starting my career and have plenty more fights to come.”

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  • John Bunch

    Weakest decision I’ve ever endured…props to Gus for showing way more class than I would have if I’d been robbed like he was. Never thought a UFC fight was fixed before…but Jones getting a Gatorade contract 2 days before the fight and then this…boxing seems legit suddenly in comparison.

    • dgs

      Gustafsson was hardly “robbed,” so quit the drama. As the saying goes, to be the champ, you have to beat the champ. Gustafsson did not beat Jones. Could it have been scored a draw, yeah, I can see that, but if one had to pick a winner from that fight the argument can rightly be made the champ did enough to win.

      Seriously, if you think Gustaffson was “robbed,” you don’t know how to score an MMA fight.

      • John Bunch

        lol…drying my tears from my drama bitch fit…but nice try…

      • John Bunch

        you on Gatorade’s payroll? full disclosure, please. Even the look on Jones’ face when he “won” said it all. But good to know that some people still believe in santa and the tooth fairy…no disrespect…just not sure what fight you watched…

      • David Huenecke

        Apparently no one knows how to score an mma fight. Dana doesnt know and it seems the fighters dont even know. Machida was even confused after his loss, like what do i have to do to win?

        • Kris-tyahn

          “what do I have to do to win?!?” – The answer is easy, any fighter knows that, so why Machita was asking, makes him look that much more stupid. You need to finish to win, what does Dana ALWAYS say?!? NEVER… NEVER… NEVER leave the fight/decision in the judges hands.
          Don’t forget, they dont get to see the fight like we do, as weird as it is, we get a much better view of the entire fight b/c we have dozens of camera views, while the judges do not, they watch from their seat. If the fight is as close as this one apparently was (at work, didnt see it YET), then the “tie” goes to the champ. You want to be the champ, you need to outright BEAT the champ.
          It’s funny how people talk about GSP fights being boring b/c he doesn’t finish, yet 90% of the top fights have been decisions. Rua vs. Henderson, Forrest vs. Bonnar, Jones vs. Gustaffson,m Edgar vs. Maynard 2 & 3, Pettis vs. Henderson 1, GSP vs. Condit etc. Maybe is GSP’s opponents would show up, or if they were half as good as him, the uneducated MMA fans would see/understand just how good GSP is.

          • David Huenecke

            The point of the post was to say that it seems people dont seem to understand how to judge an mma fight. Of course you want to finish the fight but if it goes to judges most fighters dont really know what criteria theyve been judge on. Striking,grappling,octagon control, aggresiveness. They say all these things are considered but on what scale of equality? It doesnt make sense anyone who watches can see that. Also if judges are given such a shitty view of the action why are they the ones in charge of judging it?

          • jared

            The new quote should be “only leave it in the hands of the judges if you have more sponsers and are a bigger draw in.” Everyone watch that fight and you will see Jones got that ass beat. Ufc is like boxing. Gust champ of 205

      • David Gonzales

        DGS is right. Nothing more needs to be said. I would have been absolutely fine with a draw if were to have happened but Gus did not unanimously win and that is how you have to win a decision to beat the champ

        • Lucas Freire

          Frankie vs BJ
          Bendo vs Frankie

          It’s incredible how you guys are able to go with this argument that “to beat the champ you got to beat the champ dominantly”.
          If that’s the case, why the hell there’s a scoring system? If the fight was dominant, there’s no need to see a score card, as it’d be notorious. If it was a KO/Sub, no need for scoring system.

          And I say that as I guy that wasn’t giving any chance for Gustaf, but I really think this is bull. The fight wasn’t that unanimous? Give Jon a decision!
          There’s something very very very very wrong behind the curtains of this fight.

      • AARC51

        He beat him 11 of 12 takedown attempts… But apparently that had 0 weight in the judges eyes.

        • Fredo Santana

          gustafson was 7 of 8 and look at his strike landing percentage to jones, Jones pretty much only got hit with grazing shots according to the numbers. If you are going off numbers. Jones won the fight 5 rds to none because he outstruck Gus in every single round and the 2 TDs they had between them did 0 damage and only scored a couple points.

          • AARC51

            I’m going to re-watch the entire fight, score it, and come back and either yell at or agree with you.

      • rodrigofl100 .

        take a look at these stats of the fight and double check what you just wrote here BUDDY.

      • Chk70

        Seriously, if you think Jones won you don’t know how to score an MMA fight.

  • John Bunch

    Fight was 3 rounds to 2 at best…a draw at worst…wtf UFC judges?

  • MikeMcKinney

    They usually only say who won each scorecard if its not a UD. Unless you know something different than what Bruce announced this wasn’t a split decision. As buffer announced jones won on all 3 scorecards.

  • Manuel Lopez

    What a fight! I had Gus as the new champ!

    • Willie Patton

      I agree.

  • Jay Mcgarrity

    If there’s anything we can take from this it’s that Gustaffson is the man. All of the MMA sites are scoring it for Jones but I had it for Gus. Rounds 1 and 2 for Gus and Rounds 4 and 5 for Jones. Round 3 was close but I thought Gus did enough to squeak in the round. A lot seem to be giving Jones round 2. The one kick that they are scoring for Jones was almost all toes and did no damage. Just because a technique looks cool doesn’t mean it should score so substantially. Maybe I need to re-watch the fight but the people so easily giving it to Jones definitely need to re-watch it.

    I said previously that Gus should get the winner of Jones vs Glover but that was only because we all heard Dana saying Glover was next and I didn’t think they would want to take that from Glover. Now it seems he is talking about the possibility of an immediate rematch. I think all of us would rather see an immediate rematch. I honestly don’t think Glover is ready but that’s besides the point. This fight warrants a rematch, hopefully it gets done.

    • ZZtoppppp

      I think it would upset a lot of people if there wasn’t a rematch. I agree, I had 1-3 for gus but I will have to rewatch it to confirm. Glover is next in line, but a rematch needs to happen first.

      • Scott Tenorman

        I also had it 1,2,3 for Gus, but in no way was it a robbery. Outstanding fight for both men!

        • deepgrim

          i would honestly have to watch it again to score a definate winner. enjoyed watching it so much it was hard to call. Had seriously underestimated gustafson before hand, but you have to imagine it wont be that long till we get to see them lock horns again

      • Chicago

        I rewatched it and 2&3 100% go to Gus. JJ 100% take 4&5. 1st round really close so I gave it to JJ. that TD was only lasted 15 sec and not 1 strike was thrown so I didn’t really count it as a big deal. it was more shocking, because we never saw JJ on his back. must respect to both men and can’t wait for the rematch.

    • Chk70

      What MMA sites are you reffering to? I have been around and find it the opposite way. Also looking att tweets and FB comments from the fighters and I would say 80% of MMA sites have it Gustafsson and way more fighters also have it Gustafsson.

  • Willie Patton

    Jbj don’t wanna see Gus no time soon. Should be a new champ but who knows what the future holds could be the beginning of a beautiful rivalry.

  • ZZtoppppp

    1) it was unanimous not split
    2) this article is far too animated, stick to the news not fluff
    3) I like jones more, but gsp should be considered the best in the world right now.

    • Scott Tenorman

      Didn’t seem like fluff to me. It seemed like a recap of the fight for those who didn’t get to see it.

    • Kris-tyahn

      The ONLY reason gets “no respect” is b/c he doesn’t finish, which is a joke. He does what no other champ has been able to do….. dominate his last 10 or 11 opponents with ease, to the point where…. when was the last time you thought GSP lost a fight?!? His opponents can barely win a round, let alone the fight.
      All the best fights in MMA, the majority have all gone to a decision. I still don’t see how Jones can be ahead of GSP, considering everything GSP has accomplished, and the fact that he’s an “avg” WW, fighting much bigger opponents. While Jones & Silva are the biggest fighters in their weight division, to go along with the MW division as the weakest in all of MMA & the LHW has many big names, but the opponents Jones beat were way out of their prime, those guys were in wars before Jones knew how to spell MMA. LW & WW are by far the two most stacked weight divisions.
      GSP is still the #1 P4P fighter on the planet.

      • Juan

        GSP hasn’t beat anyone in his last six title defenses???? Jake Shields former strikeforce champ?? And laying down on opponents and finishing NONE of them makes you the best pound for pound fighter or the best wrestler in MMA??? Get your facts right before you open your obviously blinded mind. Maybe you like GSP cause of his looks? Jones beat all former UFC champs homo, Shogun, Evans, Machida, Jackson, Vitor and only had two decisions because he is a complete fighter who can finish fights with his striking, wrestling, submission skills that is why he is the pound for pound best fighter in the world!!!!

      • ZZtoppppp

        You do realize that I said gsp should be considered #1 p4p right? Or is this your way of agreeing?

      • El Gvapo

        Jeez, wipe GSP’s spooge from your chin just for one minute. This article has nothing to do with him other than show him how to put on an exciting fight.

      • Chicago

        Rich Franklin was much larger than AS.

  • Sorry guys, the headline flub was my error. It was a unanimous decision, not a split decision, as you guys noticed. Sorry about that.

    • MikeMcKinney

      Not a problem. I just commented when I saw it because I doubted you guys wanted that misprint on your site.

  • jg661

    Gustafsson won. End of

    • Chicago

      Actually JJ won. It’s all over the internet. you should look it up.

  • GiinoStenLund

    Now u stupid americans see that Gustafsson is a beast.
    That guy is one of the most underrated fighters in the ufc.

    • Rollie

      As a european, please let me apologize for this dumbarse, and try not to hold it against the rest of us.

      Having said that it was a great fight, Could have gone either way, but Jones did have gus hurt and running from him a few times where Jones was never in trouble. I still thought gus could have won on points 3-2 but I can see it going either way. Cannot wait to see the rematch!

      • Chk70

        “never in trouble” wow. He was in some trouble in the fight and some trouble after the fight when they carried him out of the cage. Gustafsson won hands down. 80% of mma forums says so and even more of the fighters.

    • El Gvapo

      I would also like to apologise as a European for this tool. His statement shows that there are stupid people in every country across the world.

  • Kris-tyahn

    I didn’t even see the fight, but I was talking to my buddies who did & read many articles and comments. My question is, how in the F_CK did one judge have it 49-46?!? This judge only gave 1 round to Gustaffson, fro mwhat I’ve read he clearly won rounds 1 & 3, but like Dana says, never ever leave it in the hands of the judges, b/c you just might get heart broken.
    Can’t wait to go home & watch the fights!

    • Rollie

      You should have stopped after saying I did not watch this fight.

    • El Gvapo

      Watch the fight then comment. Talk about getting caught up on the “robbery” bandwagon.

  • Timothy Malone

    According to Fight Metric figures, Jon Jones scored more significant strikes and was more accurate in every single round. How that makes him the loser to you guys I don’t know. He did fail his takedowns I guess.

    • Lucas Freire

      According to “Go watch the fight” figures, you didn’t watch the fight.
      Or maybe they count Jones pokes in the eye and handoffs as significant strikes.

    • Chk70

      It made him a loser because it is not TRUE. Fight Metric figures has been changed I s*** you not!!!

  • AARC51

    lol, this recap has the challenger winning the first three rounds… Which I agree with.

  • lucky1

    Man why are so many people on jones sac?? He lost n he knows it he finally fought sumbody his size n he showed that he is not the great athlete everybody thinks!! He wasnt the bully no more n Gus took it too him the only advantages jones had on paper goin n was wrestling n everybody that watched the fight seen wat happened there lol!! Jones should not be champ!!

  • Jason Hunt

    Great fight. I thought AG won personally. He was gassed in 5th round though. I think he should get an immediate rematch after JJ face heals.

  • Kbroesq

    This is the problem with round by round scoring. Gust clearly won rounds 1 and 3. All the other rounds were razor close and the judges gave Jones all the close rounds. Jones didn’t clearly win any rounds, but he gets the victory. I think the judges were biased because Jones is the champ.

    I agree with all the people who say you have to beat the champ and that really close title fights should go to the champ but I really think Jones got beat tonight. People citng to fight metric need to stop. I hate fight metric. Significant stokes come in all sizes, shapes and degrees. Fight metric doesn’t account for that. I knock down haymaker is scored the same as a strong jab.

    Either way, awesome fight and as White said, no matter what you think, Gust’s stock went way up tonight.

  • shakejunt

    2, 4, and 5.

    great fight. rematch at some point, but not now. let gus get another win or two and maybe he can be jones’ last lhw fight?

  • Steven Mark Tobin

    Gus won. He’s the new champ. Look it up. Even the UFC says so… LOL…

    • Chk70

      Unfortunately UFC has changed the original stats for the fight where Gustafsson was the clear winner by 191 – 120. Abracadabra and mr White made 70 sign strikes disapear from Gustafssons stats.

  • Lars Anderson

    Jones won but by the skin of his teeth. Gus gassed out in the fourth.

  • BobLemons

    I had it 48-47 for Gus, but it was close enough to not call it a “robbery” or similar, what really worries me is that one judge saw it 49-46.

    • Chk70

      That judge is Chris Lee a tool of mr Whites, this to ensure that Gustafsson lost. How else could he have scored the way he did!!

  • Chk70

    UFC has changed the stats from the fight. Now Jones has +28 sign strikes it used to be Gustafsson +78. Scandal the biggest SCANDAL in MMA history. It´s about money for mr White not honor. imagine the sadness of fighters all over the world. Realizing their hard work is a waste of time and that the president of the organisation is a fraud. Sad sad sad.

  • Chk70