UFC 165 went down Saturday night from Toronto. In the main event, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defended his belt with a close decision victory over heavy underdog Alexander Gustafsson. It was probably the best fight for both men's careers and should be remembered as an instant classic and, in all likelihood, the best MMA fight of 2013.
It should come as no surprise that Jones and Gustafsson each took home a $50,000 check for waging the Fight of the Night. And though the card was fairly lackluster overall, there were pockets of action and excitement throughout.
One of those pockets occurred in the co-main event, when interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao, who might have been down a round to Eddie Wineland, threw a spinning back kick early in the second that put Wineland on his back.
The referee called the stoppage a few academic ground strikes later, and Barao had the TKO win, and subsequently a $50,000 bonus for Knockout of the Night. The victory also further cemented Barao as perhaps the best bantamweight MMA fighter on the planet, even above lineal champ Dominick Cruz, who is on an extended injury layoff as he rehabs from knee surgery.
The Submission of the Night went to a fighter who appeared on the portion of the undercard that aired on Fox Sports 1. Fighting in front of his fellow Ontarians, Mitch Gagnon used a tight guillotine choke to render Dustin Kimura unconscious and grab his own $50,000 bonus. The win moved Gagnon to 2-1 in the UFC and 10-2 overall.
On the whole, the event featured four knockouts. In addition to Barao's TKO, Daniel Omielanczuk, John Makdessi and Stephen Thompson all scored knockout victories. In addition to Gagnon's technical submission, Brendan Schaub scored a technical submission of his own on the main card by choking Matt Mitrione unconscious with a D'arce choke.