UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones finally got the fight he had been asking for on Saturday night at UFC 165 in Toronto.
And while the 26-year-old successfully defended his title for a record sixth straight time by beating Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision, the narrow result is the best thing that could have happened for the UFC and will only boost the company's future moving forward.
The five-round championship fight many are calling an instant classic saw both men go back and forth inside the Octagon for 25 long minutes. In the end, it was the champion retaining his title. But there was certainly a case to be made for the challenging Swede, who gave Bones everything he could handle.
Although UFC president Dana White has had very little problem sitting back and watching Jones' legend grow with each successful title defense, let's face it: Bones and the UFC needed someone to come along and make things interesting.
Gustafsson accomplished just that on Saturday, proving that Jones can be beaten while emerging as a legitimate contender in the light heavyweight division.
And both fighters are only 26, causing the question to arise: Could this be the start of an epic rivalry?
Sure, we've seen Jones go the distance in a title fight before. He needed all five rounds and a decision to defend his title against Rashad Evans at UFC 145 last year, but Evans didn't put on nearly as great a show as Gustafsson did against Jones, the man many consider to be the top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
The bottom line is that you need parity in any sport in order to keep fans interested. Too much can sometimes be a bad thing, but in the UFC's case, Saturday's thrilling fight showed that parity is possible as far as the light heavyweight division is concerned.
Not only did Gustafsson hold his own, but he made Jones look human throughout and left him badly bloodied after the final bell.
Thanks to Saturday's exciting title fight, drama has returned to arguably the most exciting division in mixed martial arts, and no one will benefit from it more than the UFC and its fans.
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