Alexander Gustafsson's height and reach was supposed to bring him greatness. Jon Jones's freakishly athletic ability and natural talent was supposed to make him the greatest champion the sport has ever seen. The two met tonight (Sat., Sept. 21, 2013) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the main event of UFC 165 with the light heavyweight title -- and for "Bones" a couple records -- on the line.
After the events of the fourth, this was about as intriguing a fight as could be heading into this final frame. Gustafsson wasn't shy about engaging in the center, throwing punches and staying in the pocket. Jones was just as eager, firing back with his usual.
Both men were cut and bleeding.
"The Mauler" missed a takedown but backed out with a few punches, dirty boxing style. He also landed a hard left hook not long after. Jones responded with another big elbow. The Swede wanted a takedown but couldn't get there.
Then, on his 10th takedown attempt of the night, Jones finally put Gustafsson on his back. He got back to his feet after scooting to the fence, though, and they reset with half the round left.
Both guys were clearly exhausted at this point, with Gustafsson visibly moving labored and trying not to betray how tired he seemed to be. Gustafsson missed a big spinning elbow himself. Jones fired off with head kicks, and the Swede ate them.
Another head kick with 30 seconds left was checked. Both guys were so gassed, it's amazing they were surviving any hard shot to the head.
Finally, mercifully, the horn sounded on one of the best fights you'll ever see.
Jon Jones defeats Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision (48-47 x2, 49-46) ... barely.