Jones’s first UFC light heavyweight championship run began in impressive fashion as he disposed of a mixture of legends and top contemporaries in Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen. The seventh man to meet Jones in a title fight was the relatively lesser known Gustafsson.
The Swede had the measurements and the record (15-1 at the time) to provide an interesting challenge on paper, but few considered him a legitimate threat to Jones’s reign. But Gustafsson went a thrilling 25 minutes with the champ on fight night and nearly stole the crown, coming up just short on the scorecards. Regardless, the bout was widely hailed as one of the greatest title fights in UFC history.