Jon Jones (right) and Alexander Gustafsson fought at UFC 165.
Sometimes, the world, it conspires against you. Sure, Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson was a fight for the ages. But what about my needs? What about the fact that it would suck all semblance of suspense out of my pick for the UFC Fight of the Month? I bet no one even thought about that. That's typical is what that is.
Well, perhaps you'll still read to learn who took home knockout and submission of the month, or who might have received some wacky off-the-books awards, assuming I included any. For the uninitiated, my bonuses are exactly like those of the UFC, except they cover the entire month and don't offer a "reward" in the traditional financial sense, but rather in the slideshow sense. That and 10 bucks gets you a very nice round-trip subway ride. Please enjoy.
There were only two UFC events in September, so not exactly a wealth of options. But even with twice that many events, it would be tough to deny Ronaldo Souza's TKO destruction of Yushin Okami, a knockout so vicious that, in retrospect, it might have led to Okami's Octagon demise.
The boom was lowered in the first round of their co-main event at UFC Fight Night 28 on Sept. 4.
The recap is simple: Souza, historically known as a submissions guy, brandished a newly dangerous striking game—led by a precise and heavy right hand—in swarming Okami early. Okami, no easy out by any stretch, found himself in various stages of turtle throughout the short duration. The fateful right came two-and-a-half minutes into the first round. A few coffin-sealing shots later and the UFC middleweight division had a scary new contender.
Bet that's a phrase you never thought you'd see, but there it is: Submission of the Month for a Mr. Brendan Schaub.
It's true that Schaub, what's the phrase I want here...sucked it up in the well-known Metamoris grappling tournament earlier this year. And while choking out fellow former NFLer Matt Mitrione probably isn't going to get you into the Abu Dhabi Hall of Fame, it will get you notice here, especially when the opponent loses consciousness. I'm a sucker for that, man.
Mitch Gagnon actually won the "official" bonus of the evening for choking out Dustin Kimura. Fine. But Schaub gets it in my book. Don't get too big of a head about it, Brendan. This slide isn't enough to set you for life or anything. Enjoy it, but be prudent, too. Know what I mean? Good.
And now for the aforementioned least climactic monthly UFC bonus since I started handing these out oh so many months ago.
No need to overthink this one. The UFC 165 main event and Fight of the Night was easily the toughest of Jon Jones' career, and it entered Alexander Gustafsson into an entirely new conversation (is he great?).
It would seem Jon Jones wants no part of a rematch, at least for the moment; that's a problem. Regardless, though, this five-round war is the clear favorite for Fight of the Year and might even have entered itself into larger conversations.