UFC: Jones survives Gustafsson to retain title
MANILA, Philippines – Jon “Bones” Jones survived a spirited challenge from top contender Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson to claim a unanimous decision victory and successfully defend his light-heavyweight belt for a record sixth consecutive time.
The capacity crowd at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto saw Jones get taken down for the first time ever in his career when he was slammed to the canvas by Gustafsson in the first round of the UFC 165 main event.
Jones also sustained a cut above his right eye in the first round, and he was never able to take control of the match despite trying to take Gustafsson to the canvas several times.
With Jones bleeding badly in the fourth round, Gustafsson landed several huge strikes, but in the last minute, Jones hurt the Swedish challenger with a spinning elbow that landed flush on Gustafsson’s forehead.
Jones landed several more elbows and a big knee as the fourth round ended, but was unable to finish.
The fifth round was another close encounter, but Jones was finally able to score a takedown with three minutes to go. Both fighters exchanged strikes for the rest of the round, but the bout would go to the scorecards.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Jones, 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46.
“I’ve been asking for a dog fight for a long time, and I finally got that dog fight,” Jones said after the fight, adding that it was “by far my toughest fight.”
Jones has now defended the light-heavyweight belt a record six consecutive times. He had previously shared the record with Hall-of-Famer Tito Ortiz. Jones also joins Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and Royce Gracie on the list of UFC fighters with 10 consecutive victories.
Given the close nature of the result, however, a rematch between Jones and Gustafsson is likely.
In the co-main event, interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao retained his title after knocking out challenger Eddie Wineland in highlight reel fashion.
In the second round, the Brazilian Barao connected on a spinning back kick on Wideland’s jaw, sending him crashing to the canvas. Barao connected on some more punches before the referee moved to stop the fight.