UFC 165 saw Jon Jones survive a five round battle, one that was the toughest fight of his reign so far, but he managed to beat Alexander Gustafsson in an unanimous decision on Saturday night. It was a tough and close battle to the end, but a strong finish let Jones hold on to his light heavyweight title, according to USA Today on Sept. 22.
Jones won with the scores, 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46. Yahoo Sports scored it 48-47 for Jones, giving Jones rounds 2, 4 and 5 and Gustafsson rounds 1 and 3. Headlines this morning are using words like "Jones holds on to title," "Jones survives," and "Jones outlasts" there's not much to suggest that Jones shined in this fight, he just basically hung in there and rallied toward the end of the fight to keep his title.
This was Jones’ sixth time defending his title and even Jones admits after the fight that “Alexander was the best I’ve fought, by far.” Gustafsson is the first man to take Jones down in the UFC, he did this early on in the fight when it looked like Jones was in great danger of losing his title to his opponent. Jones was a mess by round four after Gustafsson left him with a cut over his right eye, causing streams of blood to roll down his face and continue down his chest.
Gustafsson’s early lead highlighted his skills in wrestling and boxing making Jones rally everything he had and put up a fight like he never had to before. In the fourth Jones attempted a move that hadn’t been successful for him earlier in the fight but this time he made contact, this started the fight to lean towards him at that point.
Jones landed a massive spinning elbow that stunned Gustafsson, sending him staggering back against the cage. This left an opening for Jones to land yet another, but the round ended just as Jones flurried on Gustafsson.
Jones took control of the fifth round and managed a takedown. It was his fight from then out. Gustafsson’s ability to neutralize Jones’ traditional moves is what held Jones at bay in the beginning of the fight. The title holder took control of his fights in the past by taking his opponents down and while they were on the ground he’d pummel them with razor-sharp elbows.
Gustafsson took that ability away from Jones early on and it continued that way for most of the fight. It wasn’t until late in the fight when Jones was finally able to get the elbows in. This move helped saved his title.