Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Jon Jones retained his UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 165 with a unanimous decision Saturday night over Alexander Gustafsson at Air Canada Centre.
The champion was favored with scores of 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46, which could have gone the other way.
Gustafsson landed a right uppercut in the second round that momentarily stopped Jones in his tracks and continuously stuffed the latter’s takedown attempts.
Jones regularly connected with spinning back kicks, each one sending Gustafsson reeling slightly.
Gustafsson kept coming forward, and puffied Jones’ right eye by the end of the third round.
Sensing he might be down a round heading into the fourth, Jones popped Gustafsson with several hard right hands.
But Gustafsson was able to retaliate, snapping Jones’ head back with stiff right hands and drew blood from his right eye.
Jones went to work with spinning elbows and sharp knees to the chin, opening a cut on Gustafsson’s head that caused blood to flow.
Each fighter was bloody in the fifth, but Jones’ face was much worse.
“I’ve been asking for a tough fight like this and I got it,” said Jones, who set the UFC light heavyweight record for successful title defenses with six. “I have a lot of work to do in the gym.”
In other fights, interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao knocked out Eddie Wineland with a spinning right back kick to the face and followed up with several punches as the latter went down.
In a heavyweight bout Brendan Schaub submitted Matt Mitrione with an arm tirangle in the first round.
Middleweight Francis Carmont remained unbeaten in the UFC by dominating Constantinos Philippou for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision win. The fight was scored 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
Khabib Nurmagomedov punched, kicked and took Pat Healy to the ground, all while avoiding powerful right hands en route to a unanimous 30-27 scores in a lightweight bout.
Myles Jury walked away with another win in a lightweight bout via split decision against Mike Ricci with scores of 29-28 from tow judges, with third having the latter on top 29-28.
Bantamweight Wilson Reis defeated veteran Ivan Menjivar with all three judges scoring the bout 29-28.