Heading into the bout, Gustafsson was hardly seen as a blip on the radar to casual fans, but after nearly ousting the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, “The Mauler” is now being seen as Jones’ first-ever legitimate rival in the light heavyweight division.
There was something special in the air on Saturday night, as Jones and Gustafsson stood toe-to-toe for 25 grueling minutes. Fans were witnessing one of the greatest title fights in UFC history. In the end, all three judges scored the fight for Jones. As Bruce Buffer read the verdict, the decision was met with a chorus of boos.
Tons of UFC stars hopped onto Twitter immediately after the fight to give their thoughts on Saturday night’s main event (warning, Bubba McDaniel's comment is NSFW):
That was a terrible decision. Terrible.— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) September 22, 2013
FOY @ufc— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) September 22, 2013
While some didn't necessarily agree with the decision, robbery is a strong word for such a close fight. Jones and Gustafsson were evenly matched throughout the bout, and honestly, it could have gone either way.
The scorecards tend to get lost in the first three rounds. Jones struggled early to get his hands on Gustafsson, who never allowed himself to become a stationary target. He was able to utilize good footwork to create angles and consistently outland Jones on the feet.
The tide turned in the championship rounds, as Jones became more aggressive and began cutting off the cage. Gustafsson, who maintained a frantic pace in the early rounds, seemed to run out of gas late.
Jones took full advantage of Gustafsson’s sloppy defense with multiple head kicks and a plethora of standing elbows. By the time the final bell sounded, both fighters could hardly stand on their own two feet.
Did “The Mauler” get robbed? Sound off on the comment section below.