Jon Jones moved to 19-1 with a unanimous decision victory over No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in Toronto on Saturday. Scores were 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 and the numbers behind the fight show it was as close as the scorecards portray.
The champion was more accurate with his strikes (62 percent landed to Gustafsson’s 38 percent), but landed just 24 more than the challenger over the course of five rounds.
Significant Strikes Landed Per Round
Jones has not been outstruck in a round since January 2009 when he fought Stephan Bonnar, a span of 31 consecutive rounds.
While Jones held the striking advantage in Round 1, Gustafsson was able to do what no other man has done against Jones inside the UFC Octagon: score a takedown. It would turn out to be the challenger’s only takedown of the fight, going 1-for-8. Jones was 1-for-11 in takedowns, far below his average over his past three fights when he scored five takedowns in nine attempts.
As the fight unfolded, Jones used leg kicks to attack Gustafsson, both to his foe’s legs and head. Jones landed 53 strikes to Gustafsson’s legs, his most against any UFC opponent. Jones also mixed in 53 significant strikes to the head from both punches and leg kicks, totaling 134 significant strikes landed over five rounds. Jones 5.4 significant strikes per minute were 1.5 strikes more than his normal average of 3.9. Gustafsson was also above his average of 3.9, landing 4.4 significant strikes per minute.
Gustafsson was seeking to become the first Swedish champion in UFC history, but fell short on the judge’s scorecards. It is his first ever loss by decision, and his second career loss (15-2). The Swede came into the fight on a six-fight win streak.
With Jones’ victory, he breaks a tie with Tito Ortiz for the most UFC light heavyweight title defenses with six (all consecutive). UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is the only UFC fighter with an active record longer than Jones’, with eight. Jones also moves to 3-0 inside the Air Canada Centre, defending his title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 and Vitor Belfort at UFC 152.
There have been 15 UFC title fights that have taken place in Canada, with only two men being able to dethrone the champion (Mauricio Rua at UFC 113 and Georges St-Pierre at UFC 83).