UFC 165 kicked off last night in Canada, which featured an excellent card from top to bottom. The highlight of the night was the main event, where Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson battled it out for five straight rounds. The bout was arguably Fight Of The Year, and certainly showed the heart and determination of both Jones and Gustafsson.
While it was very close, Jones ended up getting the decision, and Gustafsson earned a lot of respect from the fight. Eddie Wineland and Renan Barao battled it out as well for the interim bantamweight belt, which was also exciting. Let’s now take a look and see who the winners and losers were of the event.
Alexander Gustafsson: Yes, Gustafsson lost last night in his title fight against Jones, but he walked away the biggest winner. Up to this point, no fighter has been able to challenge Jones, let alone take him down, and Gustafsson did both. Time and time again Gustafsson stuffed Jones’s takedowns, making him look mortal.
Gustafsson would use his range well and his movement was on point. He seemed a little tired in the latter rounds, which is a credit to Jones and the pressure he started to put Gustafsson. At the end of the day, Jones won the bout, but Gustafsson proved he has what it takes to be a champion, and should certainly get a rematch.
Renan Barao: Barao landed one of the most dynamic kicks ever seen in the UFC against Wineland. It was a spinning back right kick, which sent Wineland to the canvas. Barao was able to follow it up with punches, bringing his record to a 31-1-1. Barao proved last night that he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, and he showcased the dynamic strikes that are in his arsenal.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: Khabib was facing a stern test in Pat Healy, who is a huge lightweight for the division. The size didn’t matter, however, as Khabib was able to take him down repeatedly, and wear him down with shots. It was the biggest win of Khabib’s career, and he proved he is ready for the best in the lightweight division.
Costa Philippou: Costa was looking to move up the middleweight ladder against Francis Carmont, but he failed by a long shot. Costa was taken down and smothered by Carmont over and over, proving he has a lot to work on, in terms of his ground game. Before this fight, Costa was rolling over his opponents and showcasing his powerful hands, but in order to ever fight for the belt, he will need to shore up his ground deficiencies.
Mike Ricci / Myles Jury: Both of these lightweights had the chance to put on an exciting show for the Canadian fans, but they failed to deliver any type of exciting offense. Much of the fight showcased both fighters measuring each other, looking very hesitant on the feet. The only significant offense was when Jury shot in for a couple of takedowns. Jury ended up winning a split decision, but it wasn’t an exciting fight, by any means, for either fighter.