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Tag: Jon Jones

‘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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Watch the UFC 165 Weigh-Ins Right Here, Starting at 4 p.m ET / 1 p.m. PT [UPDATED w/RESULTS]


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

The fighters competing at tomorrow night’s UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson event will be weighing-in today at Maple Leaf Square, outside the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can watch the action live in the player above beginning at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, and we’ll have full results after the jump when it’s all over. Our prediction: Jon Jones will unveil a humiliating photoshop of Alexander Gustafsson, using the pic he snapped during yesterday’s media faceoff. I’m telling you, the champ’s mind games are next-level.

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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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[VIDEO] Jon Jones’ First Pitch at Blue Jays vs. Yankees Game *Barely* Misses Strike Zone


(“I hear Robinson Cano is the future of the ,” via @JonnyBones)

With only a few days before a light heavyweight title defense that’s, shall we say, less than exhilarating on paper, UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones did some last-second promotion for the fight by throwing out the first pitch at last night’s Blue Jays vs. Yankees game in Toronto. If you follow baseball, you may recall that Jones threw out the first pitch during a Padres game before fighting Vladimir Matyushenko, so this wasn’t a completely random experience for him. Plus with UFC 165 taking place in the city this weekend, it was a good opportunity to get the locals fired up for the event.

So how’d he do throwing out the ceremonial first pitch? Well, let’s just say that Jones admitted that he “didn’t practice much” beforehand, so try not to be too hard on him. That video, courtesy of UFC.com, is after the jump.

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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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Jones vs. Gustafsson Fight-Picking Contest: Win a Combat Line T-Shirt From Fear the Fighter!


(FTF’s Judo tee. Check out the rest of their Combat Line shirts here.)

This Saturday at UFC 165 in Toronto, Jon Jones will attempt to make history as the first UFC light-heavyweight champion to defend his belt six consecutive times, when he faces off against Alexander Gustafsson. According to the betting odds and our own analysis, it’s looking pretty good for the champ. But how exactly will the fight end? Put on your Carnac hats, ladies and gentlemen, because fight-picking time is here again.

Shoot us your predictions for the Jones vs. Gustafsson fight in the comments section of this post, and the most accurate guess will score a Combat Line t-shirt from our friends at Fear the Fighter. Your predictions should look something like this…

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‘UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson’ Main Event Breakdown — Making A Mountain Out of a Molehill


(And here we see UFC light-heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafsson just *towering* over the reigning champ. How is Jon Jones supposed to deal with such a *massive* size difference?? / Photo via Getty. Withering sarcasm via CagePotato)

By George Shunick

If you want to know just how lopsided the main event of UFC 165 looks to be, you only have to subject yourself to the hilarious, terrible advertisements for it. The subtext of them reads something along the lines of “Jon Jones is a freak athlete, his reach is unreal, who can stop that?! … Oh hey look, this Swedish guy is really tall!” If that doesn’t sound like a compelling — or for that matter, convincing — narrative, that’s because it’s not. This isn’t to say Alexander Gustafsson, the aforementioned 6’5″ Scandinavian, doesn’t deserve this title shot or that he has absolutely no chance of defeating Jon Jones. It’s just that he almost has absolutely no chance of defeating Jon Jones.

In fairness to Gustafsson and Zuffa’s promotional branch, there isn’t anyone at light-heavyweight who Jon Jones wouldn’t be deservedly favored against. It is virtually impossible to credibly sell any opponent against Jon Jones on the basis of skill. He’s simply on another level than the rest of his peers. So the UFC is forced to resort to what little it can find to distinguish his opposition as fodder for promotion; in this case, it’s that Gustafsson is officially listed as being one inch taller than the champion. In any other given matchup, perhaps Gustafsson’s boxing ability or his submission savvy might be touted prior to the bout. Not against Jones. Why bother emphasizing Gustafsson’s submission ability against a guy who has never been taken down in the UFC? Why call attention to Gustafsson’s boxing when it’s so dependent on a reach advantage he won’t have?

Of course, Gustafsson could still win. But in order to do so, he’s going to have to avoid Jon Jones’ takedowns — which no one has really been able to do — and turn this into a boxing match. Even then, he’ll face an uphill battle. Jones showed improvement in his standup against Rashad Evans, as he’s switched to a more Muay Thai-oriented attack that focuses on picking opponents apart from the outside with low kicks and hurting them when they become impatient and rush in. He’s been beaten on the feet before (briefly), by Lyoto Machida, but Gustafsson lacks Machida’s elusive footwork and unpredictable rushes. He’s generally been content to allow his reach and height to provide him security as he works punches from the outside. It’s not a strategy that’s going to work against Jones.

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Friday Link Dump: Jones vs. Gustafsson Extended Preview, Nerdiest UFC Fighters, Touchdown Celebration Fails + More


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