UFC 165 takes place this Saturday night from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The main event will feature Jon Jones defending his UFC light heavyweight championship against Alexander Gustafsson, with the co-main featuring UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao defending his title against Eddie Wineland.
Before every UFC pay-per-view we will give you five reasons to watch that show and this is a good way to start with the pound for pound king in Jones.
1) Jon Jones: Every time Jon Jones fights, it is something special. Jones is quite arguably the best fighter in the world and gets to showcase his skills once again in the fight with Gustafsson. The New York native hasn’t fought since April when he defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 when he won by first round TKO. The UFC has been building the fight using each fighters’ reach as Jones has an 84.5 reach and Gustaffson has an 81.5 reach. A lot of people resent Jones for how he comes off, but you cannot deny how great he is right now.
2) Renan Barao: The UFC interim bantamweight champion will defend his interim title for a second time against Wineland. Barao is 29-0-1 in his last 30 fights including winning 20 straight. The Brazilian last competed in February when he defeated Michael McDonald at UFC on Fuel 7 by fourth round submission. Barao has won 20 fights by stoppage and this is the biggest card he has ever fought on. A stoppage over Wineland with a lot of eyeballs on him could setup a unification bout with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz in early 2014.
3) Next Challenger For UFC Lightweight Title: The UFC announced on Monday and we reported on Tuesday that UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will make his first title defense against Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox 9 in December. T.J. Grant was supposed to face Pettis, but Grant was still suffering symptoms from a concussion he suffered in June. People thought, including myself that maybe the UFC would wait until this weekend’s fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Pat Healy to decide Pettis’ next opponent. That fight kicks off the main card of UFC 165 with Nurmagomedov has 20 straight fights and Healy is 6-0-1 in his last seven. The winner of this fight should be next in line for a title against the Pettis/Thomson winner in December.
4) Two Title Fights: Who doesn’t like title fights? The UFC very rarely puts two title fights on one show, with the last event being UFC 112 in April of 2010 when Frankie Edgar defeated BJ Penn to win the lightweight title and Anderson Silva retained the middleweight title when he defeated Demain Maia. On UFC 165, we get Jones/Gustafsson and Barao/Wineland. Enjoy ladies and gentleman as this is a rarity.
5) History: The UFC has been around for about 20 years now and on Saturday night we could see more history being made. With a victory over Alexander Gustafsson, Jon Jones would make his sixth title defense, breaking the record of Tito Ortiz. Jones can also move into a tie with Chuck Liddell for most victories in the light heavyweight division with 13. Alexander Gustafsson with a win over Jones would be the first Swedish born fighter to win a UFC title. With a victory over Eddie Wineland, Renan Barao would be the first fighter in UFC history to make two defenses of an interim title. Barao and Nurmagomedov can also have the longest winning streaks in MMA at 21.
Here is the full card for UFC 165:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson – for light-heavyweight title
Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland – for interim bantamweight title
Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub
Francis Carmont vs. Constantinos Philippou
Pat Healy vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Myles Jury vs. Mike Ricci
Ivan Menjivar vs. Wilson Reis
Chris Clements vs. Stephen Thompson
Mitch Gagnon vs. Dustin Kimura
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 6 p.m. ET)
Renee Forte vs. John Makdessi
Michel Prazeres vs. Jesse Ronson
Alex Caceres vs. Roland Delorme
Nandor Guelmino vs. Daniel Omielanczuk