Champ Jon Jones was supposed to have an easy time with underdog Alexander Gustafsson. Gustafsson had his own plan. The challenger peppered Jones with strikes early and often, and even landed a takedown on Jones—the first successful takedown completed against Jones in a fight—in the first round while repelling Jones' own takedown attempts.
Looking wiped out and bleeding from a substantial cut over his right eye, Jones had to dig deeper than he ever has in his pro MMA career. And he did, finding the timing on his spinning elbow and firing his head kick to good effect as the fight moved along. Jones probably sealed the victory in the fifth and final round by landing his only takedown of the contest and punishing an exhausted Gustafsson with high kicks.
Plenty of fans and pundits tweeted sentiments in favor of both fighters.
Jones retained his title with a unanimous-decision victory, winning 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 on the judges' scorecards. With the win, Jones leapfrogged Tito Ortiz in the record books for the most consecutive defenses of the light heavyweight title (six). At age 26, Jones is 19-1 as a pro fighter, including a 13-1 mark in the UFC that includes a 10-fight winning streak.
After the bout, Jones limped out of the cage, and subsequently was taken to the hospital for treatment. At the post-fight news conference, UFC president Dana White said Gustafsson was also en route to the hospital.
Though there was plenty of disagreement over the judges' decision, there was no disputing the fight's status as an instant classic, and an immediate rematch appears to be a possibility.
If you missed the event, we have you covered with video highlights from the full fight, courtesy of our friends at Fox Sports.