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Tag: Eddie Wineland

‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Aftermath — We Were Wrong


(A torn-up Jon Jones spins for an elbow during his title-fight war against Alexander Gustafsson in Toronto. / Photo via Esther Lin, MMAFighting.com)

By George Shunick

Let’s be honest here. No one saw last night coming. No one. That’s not to say that nobody believed Alexander Gustafsson was capable of beating or challenging Jon Jones, although those people were probably Swedish, rabid Jones-haters, or height aficionados. But no one predicted that Gustafsson would take the fight to Jones in such a complete manner that in addition to being the first man consistently hurt the champion, he would become the only man to ever land a takedown on Jones in the UFC. And if there was some visionary out there who managed to foresee this twist of fate, he didn’t expect the next wrinkle; that Jones, bent but unbroken, would rise to this challenge in the final two rounds with an onslaught that the challenger seemed to persevere through with only sheer will holding him up. When all was said and done, UFC 165 saw the best light-heavyweight title fight in history, possibly the fight of the year and most significantly, the birth of a rivalry between two young fighters in the sport’s marquee division.

So, first things first…I might have been a little hasty in dismissing Alexander Gustafsson. If there’s some small solace to take in being so incredibly wrong, it’s that there was plenty of company in that regard. The UFC focused on the challenger’s height as opposed to any of his actual skills — although to hear Dana White tell it, that’s because “he’s so tall” was considered a better selling point for UFC fans than constructing an intricate narrative contextualizing Gustafsson and his abilities within the history of Swedish combat sports. (In other words, the UFC thinks its fans are stupid. They’re not entirely wrong.) Others focused on Gustafsson’s relative lack of competition, or his performances relative to those of Jones’s. Almost every pundit came away with the same conclusion; this was Jones’s fight to lose.

That was completely incorrect. In the first round, Gustafsson got in his face, pressured Jones backwards as he landed punches. He took the fight to Jones. It was a smart strategy; Jones likes to keep his distance while he’s standing up through kicks, and moving in takes away the range required to successfully land those kicks. However, this normally comes with a caveat; moving in puts a fighter in danger of being taken down by Jones, which is the last thing they want. But Gustafsson didn’t let that deter him; in fact, he landed the first takedown attempt of the fight, the first in UFC history against Jones. It turned out there was a reason for his confidence. Throughout the fight, try as he might, Jones could not take Gustafsson down. For all the talk you hear about how fighter X is “in the best shape of his life” or “has shown massive improvements,” it rarely rings true. But Gustafsson was the exception to the rule last night.

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UFC 165 Video Party: Highlights of Jones vs. Gustafsson, Barao vs. Wineland & Post Event Press Conference


(Jon Jones defends his UFC light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165)

UFC 165 wasn’t just better than most folks thought it would be, it featured one of the gutsiest, most grueling, surprising and just downright best main event that we’ve seen in awhile. The decision may be controversial, but Jon Jones managed to pull off a unanimous decision win over challenger Alexander Gustafsson despite being beaten up, taken down and out worked for most of the fight.

Jones refused to stop swinging despite apparent exhaustion and battered the Swede in the fourth and fifth rounds en route to his sixth successful title defense. For his part, Gustafsson pulled off a great strategy in almost flawless fashion, scoring early and often to the body and head of the champ with punches, stopping his take downs and becoming the first fighter to ever take Jones down himself.

Check out highlights of the fight above. After the break, see highlights of Renan Barao‘s exciting knockout interim bantamweight title defense against Eddie Wineland as well as the post-event press conference.

Spoiler alert – Dana White and many fighters made the presser but Jones and Gustafsson did not because they were both at hospitals. They truly left it in the ring Saturday night.

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UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson — Live Results & Commentary


(Ugh. MMA fans can be so annoying. / Photo via Getty)

If you count the UFC interim bantamweight championship as a real title, then there are two belts on the line tonight at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Neither fight should be particularly competitive, but hey, blowouts can be fun too. On tonight’s menu: Jon Jones looks to clinch the longest title-defense streak in UFC light-heavyweight history against Swedish striker Alexander Gustafsson, and Renan Barao could put another footnote in the history books with a second interim belt defense against Eddie Wineland. Plus, Sir Smoke-A-Lot tries to put a dent in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s undefeated record, and Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub will slug each other into unconsciousness. Hopefully.

Round-by-round results from the UFC 165 pay-per-view broadcast will be accumulating after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, courtesy of your old pal BG. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, drop your thoughts into the comments section, and swing by our Twitter page tonight for additional observations and yuk-yuks from CagePotato staff writer Matt Saccaro. Now let’s have some fun.

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’


(Seriously, Jon? You can’t take a break from Candy Crush Saga for five seconds? / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

UFC 165 takes place on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and while most of the media’s focus has been on headliner UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, there are 25 other fighters on the card fighting this weekend that need their stories to be told, too. I can’t write about them all, but I’ve picked four fighters this weekend that you should keep an eye out for in the UFC 165 edition of Hidden Storylines.

Hypothetically, What Happens If Alexander Gustafsson Beats Jon Jones?

It seems like everyone in the world that doesn’t live in Sweden is picking Jon Jones to retain his UFC light heavyweight championship against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 165, but no one is asking what will happen if “The Mauler” pulls off the upset victory. Sure, it’s unlikely, but so was this, and it’s always foolish to count a challenger out completely.

If Gustafsson wins, it seems likely that the UFC will do an immediate rematch with Jones, even if UFC president Dana White won’t admit it. Sure, it would be nice for the UFC to have a European champion, but the truth is that Gustafsson will never be a star on Jones’s level, and it’s in the UFC’s best interest to do the rematch right away if he somehow loses.

In that sense, Gustafsson is in a bit of a no-win situation. Yes, he will be on top of the world for a few months, just like Chris Weidman is right now, but if he loses the rematch then everyone is going to think the first fight was a fluke and they wont give him the credit he deserves.

We’ll see what happens on Saturday night, but don’t expect a sudden changing of the guard at 205 if Gustafsson wins, and instead expect for the UFC to announce the rematch at the event’s post-fight press conference. As Gustafsson said himself, “I think every champion deserves a rematch.”

Does Renan Barao Become A Star With A Dominant Win?

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Gambling Addiction Enabler — ‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Edition


(Promo via UFC.com. Idea via explodingactresses.tumblr.com)

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, a light heavyweight title fight is going down between the division’s long-standing champion and a really tall Swede that the UFC desperately wants you to believe stands a chance at beating said champion. Not that we’re counting Alexander Gustafsson completely out of his fight with JBJ, it’s just…well…we’ve already gone over that.

In any case, UFC 165 actually offers a handful of fights that aren’t as one-sided as Blind Mike Tyson vs. a dartboard, so join us after the jump as we break down a couple of the undercard bouts and the entire main card in the hopes of scoring you Taters some fast cash with absolute minimal effort. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds.

Undercard bouts:

Alex Caceres (-130)vs. Roland Delorme (+110)

Caceres is the slight favorite here and has looked impressive (maybe due to elevated levels of “irie”) since his drop to bantamweight, using his size and reach — sometimes a little wild — to his advantage. Delorme is floating around +120 territory and while he may not have the tools to finish Caceres or even outpoint the former Team GSP member, he certainly is well rounded enough to push this fight to the cards. +110 prop that this fight goes the distance is a nice value as the Canadian underdog is surely not going to go away easy in this fight.

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Renan Barao’s Interim Title Defense at UFC 165 Will (Hopefully) Be His Last


(Barao’s success in MMA has caught the attention of Hollywood. He’ll be appearing in the next ‘Fast & Furious’ movie, playing the part of a dead raccoon lying by the side of the road. / Photo via Getty)

Already the longest-reigning interim champion in UFC history in terms of time holding the belt, bantamweight phenom Renan Barao could become the first UFC fighter to defend an interim belt twice when he takes on Eddie Wineland later this month at UFC 165. But being an interim champ isn’t exactly something that Barao takes pride in.

No disrespect to [Dominick Cruz], but from the moment I won this belt, and I have defended it once, I considered myself the champion,” Barao said yesterday during a UFC 165 conference call.

We can see how Barao might be confused, considering that he does in fact own a championship belt, and the real champ is nowhere in sight. Cruz, of course, has been sidelined for nearly two years due to a blown ACL and resulting complications. And although the UFC has been patient with “The Dominator”‘s long absence, the promotion may finally be setting an ultimatum on his return. As UFC president Dana White said during the conference call:

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Dominick Cruz Eyes Early 2014 Return, Has No Intention of Vacating Bantamweight Title


(…and until then, we’ll just have to settle for awkward fist-pose photos. / Props: @RenanBaraoUFC)

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was a dominant one before he became an absent one. It has been nearly two years since Cruz has fought, thanks to two consecutive ACL tears in his knee, but the injured champ hopes to return early next year.

“I’m looking to be back the beginning of next year is what it’s looking like from what the doctors have told me, so that’s my goal. Unfortunately, the doctor hasn’t even released me, so I couldn’t even make a date if I wanted to,” Cruz recently told MMA Junkie.

“It’s like when you got knocked out and you get put on suspension. It’s the same type of deal with this injury. There’s a set time and stipulation with a knee injury that I’ve gone through, especially doubled. So I’m just listening to the doctor so I stay back and don’t just come back.”

So, the up-side is that Cruz, who probably knows his own body better than anyone, is optimistic at this point. The bad news is that when he returns isn’t completely up to him.

When he does return, however, Cruz says it will be in a title fight. He scoffed at the notion that he’d vacate his title and take a “warm-up” fight first. If someone wants his title, they’ll have to take it from him in the Octagon.

“First of all, it’s silly to think that a champion would ever willingly give away the belt that he’s worked for,” Cruz explained.

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Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland Interim Bantamweight Title Fight Rescheduled for UFC 165 Co-Main Event


(Pfft. Clearly, the UFC is just trying to protect their pretty-boy interim champion. / Photo via Getty)

The UFC confirmed last week that Renan Barao‘s interim bantamweight championship fight against Eddie Wineland has been re-scheduled to serve as the co-main event of UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson (September 21st; Air Canada Centre, Toronto). The match was originally slated to headline UFC 161 last month, until Barao suffered a foot injury and had to pull out on short notice. Instead of staying on the card against a replacement opponent, Eddie Wineland was taken off the lineup altogether.

Barao has gone 31 fights without a defeat — including 20 straight victories, the last five of which were earned in the UFC — and last competed in February, where he scored a fourth-round arm-triangle choke submission against Michael McDonald. If Barao beats Wineland, he’ll become the first fighter in UFC history to defend an interim title twice — an odd achievement, made possible by the fact that actual champion Dominick Cruz is suffering through one of the longest injury layoffs in recorded history.

By comparison, Eddie Wineland’s two-fight win streak is much less impressive, although he did score wins over perennial contenders Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett last year. So, will Eddie just be another notch on Barao’s bed-post, or does he legitimately stand a chance here?

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Interim UFC Champ Barao Pulls Out of UFC 161 Title Defense Against Eddie Wineland

Tatame by way of Bloody Elbow reports that June 15th’s UFC 161 has lost its main event. UFC interim 135 pound champion Renan Barao was set to face Eddie Wineland in the event’s headlining match but the Brazilian has reportedly been forced to pull out due to injury.

Barao is reported to have injured a foot. He became the interim champion by beating Urijah Faber after champion Dominick Cruz went on injured reserve because of multiple knee ligament injuries. Wineland is on a two-fight win streak and Barao recently defended the interim belt by choking out Michael McDonald and earning his 20th consecutive win.

As of yet, the extent of Barao’s injury is unknown and so then is how long he will be out of action. No word yet from the UFC, either, on a substitution main event for UFC 161.

You up for an interim-interim bantamweight champ, nation?

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II — FX Prelims Results & Commentary


(I don’t care what they’re arguing about. I’m always going to side with the guy who’s not wearing bikini briefs. / Photo courtesy of Esther Lin’s UFC 155 weigh-in set on MMAFighting.com)

As an appetizer to tonight’s UFC 155 pay-per-view blowout, the UFC has slated four promising preliminary matchups on FX, featuring battle-tested sluggers (Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner, Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland) and streaking rising stars (Erik Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth, Michael Johnson vs. Myles Jury), all looking to close out 2012 with a bang, bro.

Handling the liveblog for this leg of our journey will be Anthony Gannon, who will be jotting down round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and if you’re watching along with us, shoot us your own thoughts in the comments section.

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