Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone with UFC 165 blowing the roof off the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada this past Saturday night (Sept. 21, 2013) on pay-per-view (PPV).
Many combatants were left licking their wounds after a wild night of fights including Matt Mitrione, who was put to sleep by his friend Brendan Schaub (highlights here). And Eddie Wineland, who was "posterized" by a spinning kick courtesy of interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao (watch it again here).
But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now two days removed?
Usually, this piece is intended to target the fighter who lost the most during a tough defeat.
Not this time.
While Gus came up short following a grueling championship fight, his stock went through the roof after his five-round war against the greatest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion to ever wear the belt, Jon Jones (watch it again here).
The towering Swede pushed the pace, rarely backed down and peppered the champion with precise striking. Striking that left Jones' face battered, bruised and cut to go along with a busted lip and swollen eye (evidence here). He even became the first to ever lay Jones on his back and he managed to stuff 11 of Jon's 12 takedown attempts.
That's quite an accomplishment, considering Gus doesn't have the reputation of being an elite grappler. That's not the case anymore, thanks to training partner Phil Davis.
Jones was looking for a fight and he found one against a guy he branded as heartless and soulless.
Many will say their instant classic was a result of Jones finally meeting his physical equal inside the cage, which begs the question: Is Gustafsson truly the second best light heavyweight in the world? Or is he simply a bad match-up for "Bones?"
No longer did Jones enjoy his physical advantages inside the cage. For 25 minutes, Gus gave Jones all he could handle and more. He stood toe-to-toe with the man who could go on to be the greatest ever and took him to the deepest part of the water.
"The Mauler" managed to do what no one else could do to "Bones;" and that's make him look human. Ironic, considering that Jones walked out wearing a shirt with a huge logo that read "Not Quite Human."
In the end, however, "Bones" showed incredible heart, will and a determination to not let his impressive streak come to an end. He was tested, pushed to his limits, and he didn't break. Jones put on one hell of a performance, but in the eyes of many, Alexander put on a better one; though scorecards like this don't do the fight justice.
What should be next for Gustafsson is an immediate rematch against Jones. Mauricio Rua received one after many felt judges stiffed him at UFC 104 against then 205-pound champ Lyoto Machida; so if there was ever a case for a challenger to get an instant crack at dethroning the champion, it's this one.
The other man in the running for the title of second best 205-pound fighter on the planet.
For more on the UFC 165 pay-per-view (PPV) event including live results, play-by-play, recaps, highlights, videos, reactions and more, check out our "Jones vs. Gustafsson" live story stream by clicking here.