On Saturday, Sept. 21, the UFC hosted UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

In the night’s main event, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones put his belt on the line against towering Swede Alexander Gustafsson. Jones looked for his sixth straight title defense after besting Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 in April. Gustafsson entered the contest riding a six-fight winning streak of his own, having most recently defeated former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, the man whom Jones defeated to capture the belt.

Also on the main card, UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao took on former WEC champion Eddie Wineland in the co-main event. With Dominick Cruz still on the shelf, Barao hoped to cement himself as the best 135-pound fighter on the planet.

Rounding out the main card, heavyweights Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrone locked horns, middleweights Francis Carmont and Constantinos Philippou tried to move into contention, and lightweights Pat Healy and Khabib Nurmagomedov battled it out for top-10 bragging rights.

The 13-fight event kicked off at 6 p.m. ET with four bouts streaming on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Four additional bouts followed on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, with the five-fight, pay-per-view main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Jones ekes past Gustafsson in fight for the ages

Jon Jones set the record for most UFC light heavyweight title defenses in an instant classic with Alexander Gustaffson.

Gustafsson connected with an inside leg kick to begin the proceedings. Jones quickly went for a takedown attempt, but the challenger defended it.  Jones remained composed and connected with a superman punch. Gustafsson did a good job at controlling the range and caught the champ with a stiff jab.  Gustafsson continued to control the striking and was able to cut the champion above his right eye. Shockingly Gustafsson was able to take Jon Jones for the first time in his UFC career. Jones connected with an elbow at the end of the round to shift the momentum back in his direction.

Jones landed a solid leg kick to begin the second round. He then went for more takedowns chasing Gustafsson across the cage, but the Swede as able to defend all of them. Jones looked to take control with kicks and landed a solid one to the body. Jones then landed a grazing head kick, but Gustafsson shrugged it off and continued. Gustafsson landed a solid uppercut and caught a body kick from Jones. Jones rolled out of the caught kick and attempted another takedown that was once again unsuccessful.

Jones looked to clinch with “The Mauler” to begin the round, but Gustafsson broke the clinch with an uppercut. Gustafsson continued his perfect takedown defense, shrugging off another Jones shot. The champion continued to be successful with kicks landing multiple front kicks to the thigh. It continued to be a battle of punches versus kicks throughout the remainder of the round. Gustafsson was still able to connect with his jab and uppercut, while the champion landed multiple leg and body kicks and narrowly missing on a front kick to the face. Gustafsson caught the champion off a spinning elbow attempt, but Jones was able to defend the takedown.

Jones landed the first significant strike of the championship rounds with a left hand. Jones again went for a head kick, but the Swede was able to block it this time. Gustafsson looked to be the fighter wanting to clinch for the first half of the round, but Jones was able to shrug him off. Gustafsson countered a Jones right hand, with a solid left that clearly stung Jones. That shot opened up the cut over Jones’ eye and the blood began to impair the champ’s vision. Both fighters continued to trade. Jones landed a flush spinning elbow and looked to close in for the finish. The Swede was able to do just enough to survive the round.

Gustafsson landed a combination to begin the fifth and final round. Jones came back with another kick to the body. Jones connected with a superman punch at the same time the challenger landed a jab. Jones looked for straight elbows and connected with one to the forehead of the Swede. Jones was finally able to score a takedown with his tenth attempt of the fight. Gustafsson was game off of his back and got back to his feet. The champion was clearly the fresher fighter and was able to connect with two headkicks, but Gustafsson was able to absorb the punishment. Jones landed again with a head kick in the final minute of the fight as both exhausted fighters still looked for the finish.

When the scorecards were revealed, Jones kept his belt with scores of 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46.

Barao knocks out Wineland with spinning back kick

Renan Barao earned a spectacular TKO finish of Eddie Wineland in his second defense of the interim bantamweight championship.

Barao opened the fight by landing a solid inside leg kick. Wineland looked very comfortable on his feet and was able to land a straight right hand early in the going. Barao then closed the distance and clinched with Wineland. Wineland was able to reverse until Yves Lavinge broke them up off of the cage. Wineland continued to look confident in the striking game, but winced a bit at a leg kick from the champion. Wineland was able to keep the rest of the round standing after brushing off a Barao takedown attempt, but was caught with a couple Barao leg kicks and a right hand.

Wineland came out quickly and took the center of the octagon to begin the second round. Wineland landed a body and head combination. Barao then landed a spinning back kick out of nowhere that rocked Wineland. The champion pounced with punches and referee Yves Lavinge had seen enough.

Schaub puts Mitrione to sleep

Brendan Schaub choked Matt Mitrione unconscious to earn the victory in a heavyweight grudge match.

Mitrione snubbed Schaub’s attempt to touch gloves to start this heavyweight grudge match. Mitrione began as the one pressing forward and Schaub was cut around the hairline on an accidental clash of heads. Schaub was able to land a solid right hand, but Mitrione continued to move forward. Mitrione was able to stuff two Schaub takedown attempts until Schaub steamed forward with a huge combination. Mitrione smiled at Schaub, but was then quickly taken down. Mitrione attempted to get back to his feet, but as he did Schaub locked on a slick d’arce choke to earn the victory.

Carmont dominates Philippou

Francis Carmont spent more than two thirds of the fight in top control of Costa Philippou to earn his sixth straight UFC victory.

After a touch of gloves both fighters looked to establish the range with jabs. Carmont then quickly looked to take the fight to the ground and landed a take down. Carmont was even able to take Philippou’s back as he tried to return back to his feet. Carmont looked to go for a choke, but Costa was able to roll out of it. Carmont was able to control the rest of the round with top control, avoiding three Philippou submission attempts.

Carmont was again able to score a takedown a mere thirty seconds into the round. Carmont quickly passed into half guard and land some solid elbows. After those two strikes Philippou was able to neutralize Carmont’s attack until John Mccarthy stood the fighters up. Carmont again showed his lack of desire to strike with the Long Island native and quickly earned another takedown where he completed the rest of the round in top control.

Philippou began the third round knowing he would need a stoppage to earn the victory. He threw an early left hook, but Carmont was able to easily move out of the way. Carmont went back to the well again and earned another takedown just one minute into the round. Philippou attempted to get back to his feet multiple times, but Carmont’s strength and grappling to finish the fight bringing ground and pound from the fight.

Nurmagomedov outworks Healy

Khabib Nurmagomedov topped Pat Healy via decision in a highly anticipated lightweight fight.

Healy started off as the agreessor to begin the main card, pressing the action towards Nurmagomedov. Both fighters landed their fair share of strikes within the close up exchanges. Khabib began to open up a bit midway through the first frame landing two flying knees and connecting with an uppercut. Healy continued to pressure Nurmagomedov, but ate the more significant strikes, eventually being cut. “The Eagle” also earned the first takedowns of the fight in the last minute of the round.

The second round began much like the first, with Healy bringing the pressure. Healy connected with his best strike of the fight so far, stinging Nurmagomedov with a right hand. Nurmagomedov did not wait as long to go for a takedown in the second round. He took Healy down and briefly took his back in the first minute. The fight quickly returned to the feet and both fighters landed significant strikes. First Khabib landed a nice head kick, Healy was not phased however. The Strikeforce veteran continued to come forward and land multiple punches that made Nurmagomedov attempt to take the fight back to the ground. Khabib finally completed the takedown with thirty seconds to go.

Healy again pressed the action and appeared to be a bit fresher than Nurmagomedov to begin the final frame. Healy was able to stuff Nurmagomedov’s first takedown attempt, but the Russian was able to take Healy down one minute in. Nurmagomedov was able to move into half guard, press Healy up against the cage and land some solid ground and pound. Healy was able to wall walk, but Nurmagomedov hoisted Healy over his shoulder and ran to the other side of the cage before landing one of his signature slams. Khabib was able to use his grappling prowess to control the rest of the fight and keep Healy on his back.

Preliminary Card Summary

Myles Jury defeated Mike Ricci to close out the night’s preliminary action. Jury was able to extend his professional record to 13-0 and earn his fourth straight win in the UFC.  The contest ended in a split decision, but was largely uneventful. The majority of both the first and third rounds were a struggle for a takedown against the cage with Jury being the aggressor. When the fight was on the feet Jury also landed the more powerful shots, with the best strike being a straight right hand in the first round.

Wilson Reis used solid takedowns on his way to an upset victory over Ivan Menjivar. The first round was almost entirely contested on the feet. No fighter did major damage, but Menjivar seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges, utilizing a front kick to the body multiple times. Reis was able to score a takedown in the final minute, which would foreshadow the final two rounds. Reis controlled the last two rounds with takedowns and spent more than half of both in top control. The unanimous decision was the fifth straight victory, but first in the UFC.

Stephen Thompson earned the knockout over Chris Clements in a battle of strikers. The fighters felt each other out on the feet in the first round, with both having moments of success. Thompson had the advantage in some brief grappling exchanges near the end of the round. Thompson seemed to get into his groove early in the second round. He rocked Clements twice. The second time was good enough to earn the knockout just over one minute into the round.

Mitch Gagnon defeated Dustin Kimura to kick off the Fox Sports 1 portion of the card. Gagnon earned a submission victory late in a highly entertaining round one. Both fighters came out extremely aggressive looking to establish dominance on the feet. Gagnon got the better of the exchanges early, bloodying Kimura’s nose. Kimura had his success as well. He hurt Gagnon badly with a shot to the body. The Canadian was able to compose himself and take the Hawaiian down. The end of the fight came when Gagnon slapped on a guillotine choke and rendered Kimura unconscious.

John Makdessi closed out the Facebook prelims in a big way. He needed just over two minutes to knock out Renee Forte. Makdessi dropped Forte with a right hand behind the ear and then pounced with shots on the ground to earn the finish. The win marks “The Bull’s” third straight inside the octagon.

Michel Prazeres used smothering top control to earn a decision victory over Jesse Ronson. Prazeres was extremely successful in round one. He closed the distance early and was able to stay in top control for the entire round. Round two looked to be much of the same as “The Tractor” controlled Ronson on the ground for the majority of the round. Ronson was able to turn the tide late in the round landing some good strikes. The third round was the Ontario native’s best of the night. He took advantage of a tired Prazeres and kept the fight on the feet. But he could not earn the finish, and it was too little too late in the eyes of two of the three judges.

Alex Caceres defeated Roland Delorme in a hotly contested bantamweight contest. Caceres came back after a rough first round where he found himself in some very precarious positions on the ground. “Bruce Leroy” was able to scramble out of a mounted crucifix and multiple choke attempts by Delorme. Over the last two rounds Caceres was able to keep the fight standing for the most part. Delorme seemed to be a bit more fatigued and wasn’t able to close in on the reach and unorthodox striking of Caceres and fell via split decision.

Daniel Omielanczuck scored a late knockout to defeat Nandor Guelmino in the evening’s first preliminary bout. Omielanczuck scored the knockout off of a left hand with less than two minutes remaining in the final round. The Polish fighter was able to overcome a rough second round where he spent most of the time on his back. In the end Omielanczuck was able to use superior head movement to avoid Guelmino’s power shots and land his own.

Jon Jones def. Alexander Gustaffson by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) – for light heavyweight title
Renan Barao def. Eddie Wineland by TKO (spinning back kick). Round 2, 0:35 – for interim bantamweight title
Brendan Schaub def. Matt Mitrione by submission (d’arce choke). Round 1, 4:06
Francis Carmont def. Costantinos Philippou by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Pat Healy by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Myles Jury def. Mike Ricci by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Wilson Reis def. Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision (29-28×3)
Stephen Thompson def. Chris Clements by knockout (punches). Round 2, 1:27
Mitch Gagnon def. Dustin Kimura by submission (guillotine). Round 1, 4;05
John Makdessi def. Renee Forte by knockout (punch). Round 1, 2:01
Michel Prazeres def. Jesse Ronson by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Alex Caceres def. Roland Delorme by split decision (29-28,28-29, 29-28)
Daniel Omielanczuck def. Nandor Guelmino by knockout (punch). Round 3, 3:19

Photo: Jon Jones (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.