Fans knew the bout between Dustin Kimura and Mitch Gagnon was going to be a wet dream for fans of grappling based on the submission specialist’s past success. However, few could have predicted Gagnon would choke Kimura out cold with a Guillotine Choke in the first frame. Also notable, the performance marked the first time Kimura had tasted defeat. It didn’t take a brutal blow to put Renee Forte away and why would it considering the steam behind John Makdessi’s punches? “The Bull” landed a glancing shot less than two minutes into their undercard effort, staggering Forte who was subsequently separated from consciousness when Makdessi followed up on the shot. The victory marked the eigth TKO of Makdessi’s career. Recent addition to the UFC Wilson Reis is a polished grappler with some notable wins on his record. He added perhaps the biggest name in Toronto, taking out Ivan Menjivar with superior takedowns and top control. Though he didn’t get the finish, Reis is clearly starting to peak as a fighter (especially now that he’s fighting at 135 pounds). There wasn’t a lot said about Myles Jury after his time on TUF but that’s changed now that he’s an official member of the UFC roster. Jury is 4-0 in the Octagon including wins over TUF finalists Michael Johnson, Ramsey Nijem, and most recently Mike Ricci who he narrowly outpointed on Saturday night’s show. Lightweight Pat Healy is a seasoned wrestler but he was outgrappled by unbeaten Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov when the two met at UFC 165. One of the bout’s biggest highlights involved a beautiful slam from Nurmagomedov where he scooped Healy up, brought “Bam Bam” over to his corner, and then planted the veteran on the mat to the approval of fans in attendance and all over the world. Heavyweight Brendan Schaub is no stranger to separating opponents from consciousness. However, the finishes usually come when action is upright. That changed at UFC 165 when Schaub secured a brilliant Brabo Choke and sent Matt Mitrione into la-la land. The submission was the first of Schaub’s run in the ring. Eddie Wineland did his best to bring the fight to UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao but it ultimately cost him. Barao landed some solid shots of his own including an amazing spinning back-kick connecting with Wineland’s dome. The blow set up Barao to attack with more strikes, doing enough damage to draw the referee’s intervention to call for a TKO victory. Any advantage Jon Jones was supposed to have on the wrestling front was thrown out the window after Alexander Gustafsson took him down in the first frame. Equally impressive, Jones attempted to return the favor a number of times in the tilt but was stuffed far more often than not. While it didn’t make a big difference in the bout, the takedown was still the first time “Bones” had ever been put on his back inside the Octagon. UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones is known to throw kicks but he had never showcased the arsenal of techniques he unleashed on Alexander Gustafsson in their bout. “Bones” blasted Gustafsson with kicks to his legs, midsection, and head. However, no matter how many times he landed, Gustafsson maintained his composure and continued on. The entire dynamic made added edge-of-your-seat intrigue to an already fantastic fight. The sensational headliner between 205-pound king Jon Jones and deserving contender Alexander Gustafsson was one for the ages. Things were so spectacular, even Jones and Gustafsson acknowledged the effort the other had shown, sharing a very friendly exchange after the clash’s conclusion. The sign of respect was well-deserved, as is the amount of appreciation each fan out there no doubt has for the tilt they turned in.
Canada is known for featuring some of MMA’s biggest fans and Toronto is definitely a great example if looking for a city representing the nation’s passion for pugilism. The group attending
were loud from start to finish, especially when it came to cheering for their countrymen, and the evening’s athletes delivered on the group’s desire to see some excellent action. The card featured an instant classic between UFC 165 UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and slick Swede Alexander Gustafsson, as well as an impressive effort from interim bantamweight king Renan Barao against Eddie Wineland and a number of other entertaining bouts to boot. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)