The Cards Don’t Lie? Analyzing Who Really Won At UFC 165


Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson put on one hell of a fight at UFC 165, the fans in Toronto were treated to a back and forth five round battle which saw Gustafsson make a great case for himself, and the title. The judges eventually scored the bout in the favor of the champion Jones, much to the dismay of many Mauler fans. 

With (possibly) the greatest ever 205lb. title fight in the rear view mirror, and a potential rematch on the horizon, all that is left to do is analyze the biggest fight of the year thus far. Most fans and pundits are referring to the amount of damage and signisficant strikes that Gus landed, claiming that he should have earned the decision win.

I admit that, at a first glance, you could say that Gus earns the win against Jones last night. Such an exciting, fast paced fight with so much on the line can often cause emotions (and opinions) to run high. So lets take a look at the fight itself:

Jones outlanded Gustafsson with 134 significant strikes to 110, most of Jones’ strikes were to the legs of Gus, and Gus certainly outboxed Bones with head and body shots. Gustafsson cut Jones in the opening round, and seemed to inflict more damage overall; but that may not be the case. Take a moment to analyze the fight metric report on the bout:

Although fight metric is not an official scoring system, it is recognized as a highly accurate report. As you can see, Jones outstruck Gus overall, with a higher accuracy rate. Although Gus had Bones in trouble early on, he did let the champion get right back in to the fight.

A saying that came to mind after this fight was ‘to be the champion, you have to beat the champion’. Quite an obvious statement, but the meaning is between the lines; you have to take the belt, convincingly.

Being able to keep up with the champ, or an all time great, is not enough. There needs to be no question of the winner in my opinion. The truth of the matter is that Gus was impressive, and may beat Jones in the rematch, but he was just short of the victory line last night.

Jones is a smart fighter, and he showcased that by the boat load, but he is human. It’s going to be a huge boost for Gustafsson, knowing that the reach advantage of Jones wasn’t too much for him to handle. I think the second fight could be one of the biggest in UFC history, mainly because someone has finally managed to solve the puzzle of Jon Jones. Almost.


  • Turning fights into pure numbers is silly.

    • In terms of a street fight or war, yes. In terms of a sport, what else can you do if there isn't a finish?

    • I took a moment to analyse the report and it's apparent that Jones kicked Gustaffson's legs more times. Glad the numbers cleared that up.

      IMHO I dont think the fourth was as decisive for Jones as what Rogan made it out to be. Gus was peppering Jones earlier in that round and had Jones on the back foot. Jones landed a good spinning elbow and missed a lot of his follow up strikes.

      Looking forward to a rematch none the less.

      P.s. love that Gus did to Jones' face; much improved.

  • It was close, but Jones won the fight. They each landed significantly but Gus was the only one in real trouble when Jones landed that spinning back elbow. Other than that is was a 50//50.

    • i saw what i saw, gust won first 3, jones won last 2 rounds

  • D

    It's a little simplistic to just say that Jones outstruck Gus based on total number of strikes landed. He landed a ton of leg kicks, and the vast majority of them had not much power behind them. Gus outlanded Jones to the head and body, and clearly did more damage.

    That said, I thought Gus clearly won round 1, being more aggressive and the more effective striker. I thought Jones edged round 2, with the striking being more even, but Jones being the more aggressive fighter. I scored round 3 for Gustaffson, as he fought more aggressively again. I thought he was clearly winning round 4 until that spinning elbow. Gus lost round 5 because he was simply exhausted. So I scored the fight 48 47 for Jones.

    I think the people saying Gus got "the first 3 rounds" are just lumping those 3 rounds together. He wasn't as effective in round 2, and Jones was the one moving forward for the majority if that round.

  • As much as I want to see Glover vs Jones this was one of those rare events were a rematch is a must……Great fight, very very close (I see Gus winning 1,2,3) and I want to see that again……Rematch!!

  • What a load of crap. Just look at Jones' face at the end of the fight and how he couldn't even walk on his own. Gus had taken much less damage. You can't factor in a bunch of baby kicks and bunch of blocked head kicks into an already ridiculous premise with these "stats". The most effective strike for Jones were those spinning elbows, I'll give him that.

    • I think I'll go the fight metric's definition of what a significant strike is over yours.

      • D

        Fightmetric scores both a hard leg kick and a straight right to the jaw as "significant strikes." You also need to look at where those strikes land.

      • D

        The fact that they scored only 3 of his 137 strikes as not being significant raises some serious red flags. He landed plenty of leg kicks that had nothing on them. Definitely more than 3.

        • In all fairness, Gustafsson threw a bunch of half-hearted shots too, particularly while he was exhausted. Fightmetric scored all but 4 of his strikes as significant as well. At least it was judged consistently.

      • @crane… well its a good thing you're not a judge, cause that tells me you wouldn't be any better than those pieces of sh*t, that judged this fight.

  • The most significant damage Gus did to Jones was the cut above his eye, which was actually a glancing blow even though it opened up a big cut. Gus was cut open pretty good too, but the cut was in his hairline, so didn't look that bad.

    Gus landed some solid blows, but never once had Jones in trouble, whereas the Mauler was saved by the bell at the end of the 4th.

    I said it in an earlier post, but the only way you could think Gus won, is if you don't score legs kicks, and the stats back that up. And if you don't score leg kicks, you don't know what you're talking about.

    • my thoughts exactly. gus was letting jon land those leg kicks at will just about. significant or not. letting someone hit you whenever they want doesnt do much for you in the judges eyes

  • Had this been a three rounder, Gus would have walked away with the belt but he got hammered in the fourth and was to tired to claim the fifth

  • Gus had more take downs, they are scored to carry more weight. Gus also stuffed shots, which should've been counted towards ring control. Just because jones threw a lot of leg kicks, that shouldn't out weight what Gus did.

  • For the fist time Jones fought someone with the same height and almost same reach, made me wonder how he would fair in the Heavyweight division where many (including fighters) thinks he belongs to, I also remember Jones leaving the stadium in a wheelchair after the Rampage fight where he dominated Rampage. maybe he's just like GSP who bruises a lot? I'll try not to be bias because I'm not a fan of Jones, so here it goes…Fcuk you Jon Jones you can have your belt, but everybody knows who won that fight, you can take you belt and your Fight Metric print outs and shove them up you bruised arse…there, not being bias and all.

  • Well.. Jones clearly landed more kicks.. specially to the leggs..
    How ever Gus walked out just fine while Jones needed help to keep balance on his way out.. Thats something the numbers does't tell.