UFC 165 is in the books from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, and the fights delivered an awesome mix of action for the Canadian fans. UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones looked to make history with his sixth straight title defense against Alexander Gustafsson. The fight began with Jones utilizing a diverse array of low kicks and several spinning back kicks to the body. Gustafsson let his hands go, and nailed some crisp punches.
Gustafsson did the unthinkable and took Jones down for the first time ever, and ‘Bones’ ended the round with a strong elbow to the temple of the challenger. Jones kept the kicks coming in the second, scoring with both high and low. Gustafsson still held the advantage in boxing, scoring with jabs, overhand rights, and uppercuts. Jones fired more and more kicks, and landed a spinning elbow in the seesaw battle of a third round.
Gustafsson landed some hard left hooks to have Jones bleeding bad, but the champ came back with a vicious spinning elbow on the forehead to stun the challenger. ‘The Mauler’ was almost done, but survived to the fifth and final frame. Gustafsson recovered well at first, landing punches, but Jones secured his first takedown. Gustafsson appeared exhausted and ate several more headkicks. It was one of the best fights in UFC history, but Jon Jones remained champion with a unanimous decision.
Renan Barao faced off with Eddie Wineland for the Interim Bantamweight strap. The two fighters came out sharp, snapping kicks. Wineland landed two hard rights and defended a takedown well. Wineland looked to control the Octagon with good combos, but Barao fought back in a close first round. In the second, Barao came out with a lethal spinning back kick that caught Wineland flush on the chin. Following him to the ground with strikes, it wasn’t long before Yves Lavigne stopped the fight. An amazing title defense for Barao’s twenty-first straight win.
Matt Mitrione and Brendan Schaub met in a battle of Heavyweight sluggers. The fight started out with a boxing exchange., as both fighters landed punches. “The Hybrid” landed a good flurry followed by a big double leg. On the ground, Schaub silenced the critics of his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu skills by locking in a super-tight d’arce choke to make Mitrione pass out cold.
Costa Philippou looked to continue his streak against GSP’s training partner Francis Carmont. The fight began with Carmont nailing a good low kick then a takedown. Despite an attempt at two armbars and an omoplata from Philippou, Carmont utilized good ground and pound while looking for a choke to dominate round one. Taking a page from his training partner GSP, Carmont again drove the fight to the mat in the second. He couldn’t do much, but just took Philippou down again after the fight was restarted. It was more of the same in the third with a big Carmont slam, and he won the fight with an absolutely smothering unanimous decision.
Pat Healy looked to get back on track against rising star Khabib Nurmagomedov. The two came out looking to trade, with Healy pushing the pace. Nurmagomedov countered with some good uppercuts and a flying knee. The Russian took Healy down, landing some strong punches to end the first. In the second, Nurmagomedov took Healy’s back early to land some hard shots., He landed a headkick, but Nurmagomedov began to slow a bit. Healy continued his relentless pressure but ran into a double leg. The final round saw Nurmagomedov score some good takedowns, including a huge slam a la Matt Hughes. Nurmagomedov rained down ground and pound to take home the unanimous decision win and remain undefeated at an impressive 21-0.
UFC 165 Main Card Results:
Jon Jones def. Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision
Renan Barao def. Eddie Wineland via first round knockout (spinning back kick)
Brendan Schaub def. Matt Mitrione via first round submission (d’arce choke)
Francis Carmont def. Costa Philippou via unanimous decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Pat Healy via unanimous decision
Outer Photo: Brad Penner for USA TODAY Sports