Alexander Gustafsson came into UFC 165 a 7-1 underdog against Jon Jones. Jones is considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, and his unbeaten record, save for a DQ loss to Matt Hamil, is a testament to this. None of this mattered to Gustafsson, however, as he was able to give Jon his sternest test inside the UFC.
For five rounds, Gustafsson battled Jones, using fast footwork and movement to land some great shots on the champion. One of the most amazing things about the fight was how Gustafsson was able to thwart Jones’s takedown attempts, and even landing his own takedown. It was an epic battle, and one that might go down as the greatest fight that ever took place inside a cage.
After the fight, Jones was bloodied. He had cuts below his eye, and his mouth was very swollen. This fight proved that Jones can be tested and is not the unstoppable force that many were claiming he was. It’s interesting that his walkout shirt said the words ‘Not Quite Human’, as this fight proved he was.
Jones wasn’t able to pick Gustafsson apart nor dominate him on the ground, something that he has been accustomed to doing against smaller fighters.
At the end of the day, Jones walked away the victor, but showed he still has some things to learn in his fighting career. This fight also begs the question: how does he fare against elite heavyweight competition? Gustafsson was able to use his reach and footwork to beat Jones in more than one round, and finally, someone that equaled Jones’s size was able to get the better of him in a fight.
Now that Jones has shown to be vulnerable in some areas, it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Daniel Cormier was particularly invested in UFC 165, as he has had a feud with Jones for a long time now. He certainly saw the kind of success that Gustafsson had in terms of grappling, and you can bet he was taking notes during the fight. Now that Jones has shown he is not indestructible, his bouts will be more compelling to watch.