The UFC 165 card from Toronto, Canada was capped by a Light Heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson that will go down as a classic. Gustafsson was able to test Jones in a way that had never been seen before in the octagon. Jones responded to the challenge and the two engaged in a five round battle that saw both men pile heaps of punishment on the other. In the end, Jones would see his hand raised in a unanimous decision, with one judge incongruously seeing the bout 49-46 in the champion’s favor.
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The co-main event continued the dominant streak that interim Bantamweight champion Renan Barao is on. He TKO’d tough Eddie Wineland and has successfully defended his interim belt several times. The UFC will inevitably push for a unification bout with Barao and titleholder Dominick Cruz next. Cruz has been out for two years, and it is anyone’s guess where a line would be put for starters when that fight is inked.
I was wrong about Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Russian ran his record to 21-0 in taking out Pat Healy. Healy, a rugged veteran who was a 2 to 1 underdog, looked slow and he ate a lot of punches. The Russian proved he belonged, and he is looking for a jump in competition. A match with Jim Miller, or TJ Grant would be very interesting for Nurmagomedov.
Francis Carmont came out with Georges St Pierre in his corner, and his style mimicked the champion throughout his lopsided, controlling victory over Costas Philippou. Philippou made Carmont’s takedowns look solid in this fight, and from there he could not get up as the frenchman stayed heavy in top position and controlled. In the end, the match sends Philippou back to the drawing board after eliciting a lot of hype with his last outing, and it raises Carmont up a notch. M match against Gegard Mousasi should Mousasi drop to 185 lbs, would definitely be a challenge for Carmont.
Heavyweights Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrione delivered a fun fight that ended when Mitrione went to sleep while being choked by Schaub. In the end, neither man is a threat to the top dogs in the division, but even Mitrione will likely remian on the UFC roster.