Jon "Bones" Jones continued his incredible run through UFC light heavyweight division on Saturday night, defeating Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson by unanimous decision to retain his title in the main event at UFC 165.
The official UFC Twitter feed passes along how the fight was scored:
In front of a raucous crowd at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Jones started out slow but came on strong in the later rounds to get ahead on the judges' scorecards. Despite coming out on top, the champ looked worse for wear after the fight, and reportedly headed straight to the hospital to get checked out, according to ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto:
Jones was loaded into a stretcher and is presumably being taken to the hospital. Far worse shape than Alex, who conducted a few interviews.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 22, 2013
Gustafsson did well to avoid Jones' takedown attempts for the majority of the fight, and utilized crisp boxing to cause a lot of damage to his opponent on the feet. With such an impressive performance, many are already clamoring for a rematch, including Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel:
Jones survives but rematch is certain. Great fight— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 22, 2013
Since both Jones and Gustafsson are highly-skilled strikers, it came as no surprise to see them trading for the majority of the bout. Jones is also a well-versed submission artist, though, whereas Gustafsson isn't quite as comfortable on the mat.
With that in mind, Jones attempted to get Gustafsson out of his element at certain points, but the Swede's takedown defense held strong. It took him until the final round (his 10th attempt) to finally record a takedown, only for Gustafsson to stand up almost immediately.
The loss ended a hot streak for Gustafsson, as he had won six consecutive fights following a loss to Phil Davis at UFC 112 in 2010. The Davis loss was the only blemish on his record until Saturday night.
The hard-fought victory gives Jones the record for the most consecutive title defenses (six) in UFC light-heavyweight history. At 19-1, Jones is now on a 10-fight winning streak, with his lone loss coming in controversial fashion for the use of illegal elbows against Matt Hamill in 2009. For all intents and purposes, though, Jones has been perfect over the course of his career.
As an absolutely massive favorite heading into the fight, nobody is particularly surprised that Jones came out on top, though the manner in which he retained his strap was shocking to say the least. Staying at the pinnacle of the sport is no easy task, though, so Jones should be commended for ultimately getting the job done.
Jones has taken on and defeated all comers, firmly establishing himself as the unquestioned face of UFC. There are plenty of spectacular fighters in the sport right now, but none of them can measure up to what Jones has accomplished over the past few years.
It can be argued that his level of competition hasn't been elite, but watching a potential all-time great hone his craft has been entertaining in its own right. Gustafsson put forth a valiant effort and threw everything he had at Jones, but "Bones" did just enough to retain the gold.
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