I’ll be the first to say it. I was wrong. Super, totally, absolutely, wrong. I always thought if Jon Jones fought a scrapper and got himself into an all-out, drag-down fist fight he would lose. I always just assumed that since winning came easily for him in all of his fights he would not be able to reach down into that place where most men do not dare to go and summon the heart to get the best of his opponent. He was able to do just that against Alexander Gustafsson last night at UFC 165.
It turns out that Gustafsson was able to give the champ all that he could. Gustafsson busted up Jones’ eye, he swelled his lips and dented his face, but still Jones was able to throw his lightning fast head kicks and his accurate jabs. Gustafsson gave the fans the biggest surprise of the night by not only taking the champ down for the first time ever, but by stuffing almost all of the champ’s takedown attempts. This must have been discouraging to Jones, and it showed in the first three rounds.
Jones answered the bell in the fourth with a look of urgency to his face. There is a good chance that he believed he was losing the fight and he needed to cement the next two rounds to keep his belt. He was then able to do something that plenty of people did not think he could; he fought through the blood and the exhaustion. He summoned up the heart that he needed despite the pain that he felt. In one simple phrase — he rallied. It was so great to finally see the champion fight like a champion