Gustaffson had entered the bout on a six-fight win streak and seemed as well placed as anyone to knock Jones off of his perch.
He came close. The title fight was an all-out war, one of the best fights in UFC history at that point.
Gustafsson pushed Jones hard with strikes and takedowns and busted him up impressively. However, Jones showed just why he held the Light-Heavyweight belt for so long, hanging in there in the difficult periods to roar back with elbows, spin kicks and knees to earn enough points to secure the Unanimous Decision victory. But, boy was it close.
In truth, the rest of the card just could not live up to that barnstorming main event. In the co-headliner, Interim Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao bested Eddie Wineland in a decent fight, highlighted by the show-reel TKO finish. Barao reversed a great combination from Wineland, smashed him with a spinning back kick and followed up with a flurry of punches. That was impressive.
Brendan Schaub beat Matt Mitrione by submission in a solid performance where he completely controlled the fight standing and when he took Mitrione down to the mat, he quickly secured the D'Arce choke for the victory.
Frenchman, Carlos Carmont won his sixth UFC fight in a row in a dominant performance versus Costas Philippou with a stunning display of ground and pound skills. That was enough to earn the Decision victory.
UFC 165 opened with a young Khabib Nurmagomedov earning his fifth UFC win with a Decision victory over Pat Healy. It was a performance that was classic Khabib as he wore Healy down with his grueling ground game.
The event was a success on pay per view with a 310,000 buy rate, pulled by the marquee main event of Jones and Gustafsson. That bout exceeded all expectations.