Jones, the former undisputed champion who holds the UFC record for most successful light heavyweight title defenses (8) and has only lost once (via DQ) in 24 pro bouts, faces Gustafsson, a two-time title challenger who has won three of his last five fights, in the main event.
This will be a rematch of their September 21, 2013 encounter at UFC 165 in Toronto, where Jones won via five-round unanimous decision to record his sixth consecutive title defense.
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Round 1: Mike Beltran is the referee for this championship bout. Jones with an early grappling attempt and Gustafsson shrugs him off. Jones with a knee to the body on the separation. Another takedown stuffed by Gustafsson. Jones lands a low knee and Beltran calls for a break, Gustafsson ready to resume the action almost right away. Jones probing with his jab. Gustafsson is catching Jones with his own jab as Jones comes in. Knee to the body by Gustafsson. Jones throwing a lot of low kicks. Punch to the body by Jones. Gustafsson doubles up with a pair of quick left hooks. High output from both men. Lead elbow by Jones and he follows with a front kick to the body. Jones gets underhooks to lock Gustafsson up and connects with knees to the body. Jones catches a kick and Gustafsson shows incredible balance to avoid the takedown. They separate. Superman punch by Gustafsson, then a follow-up right. Another right hand over the top by Gustafsson glances the side of Jones’s head. Kick to the body by Jones.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Jones.
Round 2: Jones making excellent use of his kicks, scoring low and on Gustafsson’s body. He stuffs another Jones takedown, but takes a knee to the body. Gustafsson opening up with his hands, Jones on the defensive. Another body kick scores for Jones. He gets a finger in the eye and Beltran pauses the action again. Both fighters are warned about their fingers. Gustafsson aggressive with punches over the top now, Jones looking to back him up with kicks to the body. Gustafsson pressing forward, Jones staying just out of punching range. Oblique kick by Jones, then a counter left hook. Gustafsson pumping his jab. Snapping leg kick by Jones has Gustafsson momentarily off-balance. Overhand right by Gustafsson and Jones briefly wraps him up. Low kick to the lead leg has Gustafsson limping. He’s finding a home for his right hand. Jones pops Gustafsson with a crisp jab. Jones lands another elbow out of a clinch.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Jones. Overall, 20-18 Jones.
Round 3: Gustafsson opening up early with a left hand. Jones circling away well, keeping a defensive stance. He explodes for a takedown and ends up in Gustafsson’s half guard. Jones moving into side control, he lands a hard elbow. He’s methodically moving to back control. Huge punches from the top by Jones and Gustafsson is not defending himself. Beltran gives Gustafsson plenty of time to recover (probably too much) before waving the bout off.
Official result: Jon Jones def. Alexander Gustafsson via TKO (ground-and-pound) at 2:02 of round three