UFC 165 Preview

Official-UFC-165-PosterThe UFC will see another championship go up for grabs in a season that has seen more changes than ever. The era of the dominant champion seems to be on its way out as two very good champions have already lost their belts. The latest would be Benson Henderson who lost his lightweight belt to Anthony Pettis at UFC 164. Henderson was considered the first truly dominant champion in the UFC as the most talented division had found it hard to find a champion to defend their belt. Before that the man considered the most dominant champion in the history of the UFC would lose his belt. Anderson Silva was the man many believed would retire with his middleweight belt as their never seemed to be anyone that was able to beat him. Chris Weidman would do the impossible and would beat Anderson Silva ending the reign of the Middleweight champion. The war on the dominant champions in the UFC has begun and so far the score is 2-0 for the challengers. Now the Light Heavyweight Championship is on the line with another dominant champion looking to keep the streak going. Jon Jones is now considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world after Anderson Silva’s loss and he will look to prove it by winning his sixth straight Light Heavyweight title defence. It won’t be easy for him though as the UFC has placed his toughest opponent yet in front of him. Jones has become one of the most dominant champions in the UFC using his physical gifts. He is not only a very strong and well-rounded fighter but his wingspan keeps fighters at bay and does not let them get in close to unleash punches. This is what he has used to his advantage to get wins as he continues to be too long for many of the challengers. Now he faces a fighter that is an inch taller than him at 6’5” in Alexander Gustafsson. The height and reach advantage is gone for Jones and now he will show what he is truly made of. Gustafsson has used this height advantage much like Jon Jones as he has risen to a 6-fight win streak against some good opponents. His fight streak has seen his reach and height be used to its full advantage. Like Jones he has been able to keep opponents on the outside and keep these fighters in his range but stay out of theirs. Gustafsson loves to strike and use this reach to his advantage earning three KOs in his UFC career. His ground game is not too bad either as he has earned 2 Submissions along with his KOs. He will look to use his striking ability against Jones giving the champion something that he has never faced before in a fighter that can meet his reach. As a result of this Jones may look to take the fight to the ground and use his wrestling background to win the ground game. He will try to establish the ground and pound and take advantage of the lack of experience that Gustafsson has on the ground. If Jones does stay standing he may just get the advantage for his sheer creativeness but may want to think twice as many of the things that he has been able to do might not be possible without the reach. The fight will be an interesting one as Jones tries to prevent being the next big champion to lose and will face his toughest competition yet. Although Gustafsson will be a big challenge Jones will win this fight in a Unanimous Decision that will give him the record for Light Heavyweight Title defences.

The title fights are not limited to the main event at UFC 165 with the interim Bantamweight title also on the line. Interim champion Renan Barao continues to wait for the Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz to return from a lengthy absence. Cruz continues to recover from an ACL injury and recurring surgeries that have kept him out of the UFC for two years. In his absence Renan Barao would take over the championship for the time being. As the interim champion Barao is essentially fighting every fight to remain the #1 contender in the Bantamweight division. He has kept the interim belt through two fights so far beating Urijah Faber to earn the belt and beating Michael McDonald to retain the belt. Now with Cruz planning on returning in February Barao may only have one more fight until he can earn the belt for real. Standing between him and the real belt is Eddie Wineland who is looking to snatch the belt and the title shot from the grasps of Barao. Wineland has only put together two wins in a row but both of those wins were against impressive opponents in Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen. With a combination of solid wrestling and vicious striking Wineland has worked his way through some of the toughest in the division. It will be a classic matchup with Barao looking to take the fight to the ground and end with a submission while Wineland will likely try to KO the interim champion. Whoever does come on top will earn a chance against Dominick Cruz in his return from a 2-year absence for the chance to remove the interim from the title.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson (PPV)

Main Card:
Renan “The Baron” Barao vs. Eddie Wineland (PPV)

Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub vs. Matt Mitrione (PPV)

Costa Philippou vs. Francis “Limitless” Carmont (PPV)

Pat “Bam Bam” Healy vs. Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (PPV)

Undercard:
Mike “The Martian” Ricci vs. Myles “Fury” Jury (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Ivan “The Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar vs. Wilson Reis (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Chris “The Menace” Clements vs. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Mitch Gagnon vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Kimura (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

John “The Bull” Makdessi vs. Renee Forte (Facebook)

Michael “Tractor” Prazeres vs. Jesse “The Body Snatcher” Ronson (Facebook)

Roland Delorme vs. Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres (Facebook)

Nandor “The Hun” Guelmino vs. Daniel Omielanczuk (Facebook)

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