Tonight (Sept. 21, 2013) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson went to war to in the main event of UFC 165. The bout was for Jones' Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight title.
Not many people gave Gustafsson much of a shot against Jon Jones. In fact, on some betting sites, the best odds you could find had him as a +660 underdog. And the marketing of the fight? It didn't focus on his boxing pedigree or how he has punching power. It focused on his height and how he is taller than the champion.
This should serve as a reminder that sometimes marketing doesn't tell the entire story. For five rounds, the two fighters stood toe to toe and traded punches. And there were many times that Gustafsson got the better of the exchanges, opening up a huge cut over Jones' right eye.
The bout reminded me of the classic between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar that is often credited for saving the Ultimate Fighting Championship. For those five rounds, these two athletes gave their hearts and spilled blood to capture the most important title in mixed martial arts (MMA).
When the score cards were read, it was Jones who was declared the victor. On a personal note, I'd like to thank Jones and Gustafsson for their efforts tonight. They reminded me why I love this sport so much and have given time, money, and my weekends to cover fights.
UFC President Dana White was equally as impressed judging by his real time updates on Twitter. There's no word on if there will be a rematch, but I imagine that it's being considered.
Holy shit!!!! Great 1st round— Dana White (@danawhite) September 22, 2013
WOW!!!!! I didn't think Jones wouldn't ba able to take @AlexTheMauler down— Dana White (@danawhite) September 22, 2013
@Carpe_Bacon WOW!!! That's your update— Dana White (@danawhite) September 22, 2013
Are u fucking shitting me!!!!!!? What a fight!!! Last round— Dana White (@danawhite) September 22, 2013
What a fight!!!!!!!!!!— Dana White (@danawhite) September 22, 2013
For more on "Jones vs. Gustafsson" click here, and for complete UFC 165 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.