Taken to the Limit in Toronto (UFC 165 Review)

ufc_165The talk going in to UFC 165 surrounded the significance of the main even no matter who would win. If Alexander Gustafsson could get past Jones it would be the second time in the last few months where the #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the UFC lost his belt. It would also be the first time a European fighter held a belt in the UFC. On the other end if Jon Jones could pull off the win he would do something that has never been seen in the Light Heavyweight Division winning his 6th straight title defence. The Heavyweight Division in fighting has always been the place where stars are born and the division where everyone pays attention. In the UFC this is slightly different as the Heavyweight division is very popular but it is the Light Heavyweight Division that produces superstars. Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson, Forrest Griffin, and Rashad Evans have all been at the top of the Light Heavyweight Division. These fighters mark some of the most popular and most famous fighters in UFC history making the division one of the biggest in the UFC. Another factor to its popularity is the fact that the Light Heavyweight Division has been one of the most competitive divisions in the history of the UFC. The most dominant champion in the division was Tito Ortiz who defended his belt 5 times from 2000-2002. He would be beat by Randy Couture and since that point only Chuck Liddell would come close to being a dominant champion winning 4 title defences. Since 1997 the Light Heavyweight Division has seen 12 different championship reigns with many of these 12 never defending the title successfully. Then Jon Jones entered the division and changed everything with his creativity and physical attributes. Jones would enter UFC 165 looking to become the most dominant champion in the history of the division in his sixth title defence. He would take on the biggest challenge of his career in 6’5” Alexander Gustafsson who would give Jones a completely new challenge. Jones has had most of his success in the Light heavyweight Division thanks to his dominant size as he could keep fighters out of reach with his long legs and arms. Against Gustafsson, Jones would not have that reach advantage and many wondered how it would affect the champion in this fight. It was something that Jones had never seen before in a fight and Gustafsson would look to take full advantage. The fight would start by answering that question very quickly with Jon Jones looking almost lost in the octagon. Gustafsson would begin the fight by continuing to take advantage of his reach and would start to do damage on the feet. Jones was unable to figure it out in the first two rounds as he continued to get hit and could not do his own damage. It was clear that after the first two rounds Gustafsson would be ahead and looking like he could upset the champion. Jones would begin a comeback in the third though as he would not let Gustafsson continue his dominate standup game. The third round would be very even and in an even round the score generally goes to the champion giving Jones his first round. The fourth round would see Gustafsson slow down as he was in a longer fight than he had ever seen before. The round was still very even and began leaning towards Gustafsson until the end of the round. Jones would come alive at the end of the fourth round hurting Gustafsson and jumping on the challenger. The round would end with Jones unloading on Gustafsson and winning the round with the late surge. The final round would be another close one but a takedown by Jones and taking advantage of the exhausted Gustafsson would give Jones the final round. It was a very close fight and was everything that had been expected with both fighters being pushed to their limits in the fight and Jon Jones would see his biggest challenge yet. Jones still came out with the win though and would set the record for most Light Heavyweight title defences becoming the most dominant champion in the division. Gustafsson put on a great fight and although he lost will not fall very far in the rankings as he looks at a few more fights before getting a rematch against Jones. Meanwhile Jones will continue to defend his title as Glover Teixeira is up next and a rematch with Gustafsson will is sure to follow if he retains the title.

The main event was a great fight with two fighters leaving everything in the octagon but it was not the only title fight of the night. The Interim Bantamweight championship would also be up for grabs as Renan Barao defended his interim title against Eddie Wineland. The fight would mark the second defence of the interim title holder who would hope to take another step to the title shot he is hoping he can get. It has been two years since Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has stepped into the octagon to defend his title. An ACL injury has kept him out of the octagon and in his place Renan Barao has taken over winning the interim title and defending the title. Now he went to Toronto to look for another defence of his interim title and his #1 contender spot. With Cruz given until February to return Barao would need this win to ensure that when the real belt is up for grabs early next year that he will be in that fight. Eddie Wineland was looking to take that opportunity away from Barao and take advantage of winning the fight to earn the top contender spot in the Bantamweight division. There was plenty at stake in this fight as both fighters were looking for that chance at the Bantamweight Title by winning the interim title. The fight would be a good one with both fighters getting their shots in until the second round. In the second round Barao would do something that had never been seen before in the octagon. Barao would unleash a spinning back kick that would land perfectly on the chin of Wineland. Barao would jump on the hurt Wineland and would finish the fight retaining the interim title. The finish would be spectacular as Barao impressed and earned what would likely be a shot at the undisputed title early next year.

 

Fight Bonuses

Submission of the Night
Fighting at home would pay off for Mitch Gagnon as the Ontario native would impress against the undefeated Dustin Kimura with an arm-in guillotine choke that would earn him the $50,000 bonus

Knockout of the Night
When someone does something that has never been seen inside the octagon they have to get a bonus and Renan Barao would do just that as he would earn the KO of Eddie Wineland with a spinning back kick

Fight of the Night
Jon Jones and  Alexander Gustafsson left the octagon at UFC 165 with absolutely nothing left with Jones even going to the hospital after the fight as they gave everything in their title fight and would earn the Fight of the Night bonus for their efforts

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Jon “Bones” Jones def. Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson [Light Heavyweight Title]
(Unanimous Decision)

Main Card:
Renan “The Baron” Barao def. Eddie Wineland [Interim Bantamweight Title]
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub def. Matt Mitrione
(Submission; D’Arce Choke, Rd. 1)

Francis “Limitless” Carmont def. Costa Philippou
(Unanimous Decision)

Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov def. Pat “Bam Bam” Healy
(Unanimous Decision)

Undercard:
Myles “Fury” Jury def. Mike “The Martian” Ricci
(Split Decision)

Wilson Reis def. “The Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar
(Unanimous Decision)

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson def. Chris “The Menace” Clements
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Mitch Gagnon def. Dustin “The Diamond” Kimura
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 1)

John “The Bull” Makdessi def. Renee Forte
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Michel “Tractor” Prazeres def. Jesse “The Body Snatcher” Ronson
(Split Decision)

Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres def. Roland Delorme
(Split Decision)

Daniel Omeilanczuk def. Nandor “The Hun” Guelmino
(KO; Rd. 3)

 

Upcoming Events 

UFC Fight Night 29: Shields vs. Maia (Wednesday October 9th; 7:00 pm ET)
Barueri, Brazil (Ginásio José Corrêa)
Main Event: Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields
Notable: Erick Silva vs. Don Hyun “Stung Gun” Kim
Notable: Thiago Silva vs. Matt “The Hammer” Hamill

UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 (Saturday October 19th; 10:00 pm ET)
Houston, Texas (Toyota Center)
Main Event: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos [Heavyweight Title]
Notable: Daniel “DC” Cormier vs. Roy “Big Country” Nelson
Notable: Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez vs. Diego “The Dream” Sanchez

UFC Fight Night 30: Bisping vs. Munoz (Saturday October 26th; 3:00 pm ET)
Manchester, England (Phones 4u Arena)
Main Event: Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz
Notable: Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson vs. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard
Notable: Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa vs. Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo

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