UFC 165 Grades: Jones, Gustafsson Battle in an Epic
UFC 165 delivered in a big way—Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson where spectacular. Renan Barao was as brutal and efficient as ever, and even Brendan Schaub looked like a world beater while submitting Matt Mitrione. There are not enough superlatives to describe what happened during the main even of Saturday night’s fight, but Jones and Gustafsson may have just taken part in the greatest fight in UFC history. The matchup was that epic; that entertaining; and that enthralling for fans to witness. Let’s try and recap what happened as best we can by passing out a few grades for UFC 165.
Alexander Gustafsson: A+
Alexander Gustafsson was simply amazing last night. Not many people thought he would be able to hang with the champion and arguably even beat him. The shocking thing was not Gustafsson’s striking, but his wrestling and take down defense. The challenger was able to match everything Jones did, and for a while was even doing it better. The early reaction from fans and experts has been that last night’s matchup was one of the greatest fights in UFC history. During the post-fight press conference UFC president Dana White said an immediate rematch would probably be next, depending on the health of both fighters.
Jon Jones: A
It’s hard to drop Jon Jones’ stock here, even though he looked vulnerable for the first time in his dominant career. After three rounds the champion was losing on most people’s score cards and needed a furious rally to stay in the fight. What transpired next were perhaps the most drama-fill rounds in UFC history. Gustafsson started the fourth round picking the champion apart, until the very end when Jones unleashed a string of hard punches and elbows left the challenger barely standing. Jones was probably another 10 seconds away from finishing the fight. Afterwards both fighters were immediately taken to the hostipal and did not attend the post-fight press conference.
Renan Barao: A
Renan Barao is on an eight-year win-streak and seems finally ready to become the UFC’s next pound-for-pound great. Barao will probably face Dominick Cruz early next year to unite the bantamweight titles.
Eddie Wineland: C
There is no shame in losing to a monster the likes of Renan Barao. Wineland looked good during the first round but was simply overwhelming by the dynamic champion.
The Judges: D
Whether it is boxing or MMA there always seem to be problems with the scoring. The judges during last weekend's Mayweather fight made the bout seem much closer than it actually was, while the judges from last night’s battle made the fight seem more lopsided than it actually was. One judge scored the fight 49-46 for Jones—which is four rounds to one. He did even watch the fight?