Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 11/9/14

How long are their arms? That's the question on everybody's lips. So let me get it out of the way early on. Jones Jones, in his last fight with Chael Sonnen, had a 84.5 inch reach. Against Shogun Rua, Alexander Gustafsson had an 76.5 inch reach. So unless Gustafsson has had a growth spurt at the age of twenty-six or Jon Jones has shrunk because of his nasty broken toe then the champion has a huge reach advantage and that's that. Don't let yourself get cause up in the mathematics of it all though. The only equation you need to know is, SEVEN top 10 ranked fighters + TWO title fights + ONE Nandor Guelmino = UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jon Jones fighting Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC light-heavyweight title is one of those main events where you can look at it from any number of different angles and can only see one outcome - a Jones victory. He is the number one pound for pound fighter in the world, he has beaten five former UFC champions along the way and, but for a controversial decision loss to Matt Hamill, he would be unbeaten. That's not to say the Swede isn't a decorated fighter himself. He also has only one blot on his fighting record – a defeat to Phil Davis who he subsequently started training with at Alliance MMA in California. Gustafsson has amassed fifteen career wins, the highlight of which was a three round demolition of former champion Mauricio Rua in his last fight at UFC on Fox 5. Breaking down this fight isn't pretty viewing for Gustafsson. In the wrestling department - Jones has never been taken down in the UFC and has landed twenty-six takedowns of his own. Standing up - Jones has an almost 53% significant strike accuracy with a 67% significant strike defence. All stats are top-10 in the division since its inception. Add to that the fact he escaped from the tight Vitor Belfort armbar submission and it's a struggle to find any hope for the Swede. If there is one, though, it must be his power. Gustafsson has nine KO/TKO's in his career and has five UFC knockdowns, even more than Jones. At 6”5' Gustafsson will be the tallest fighter Jones has faced in the UFC and if he can strike early while the champion is still adapting then the aforementioned power shots may be his best path to victory, but it's a big if. The majority of people will tune in on Saturday night not to see a great battle but instead to witness the next step on Jon Jones' procession to becoming the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time. They more than likely won't be disappointed. In the co-main event interim-bantamweight champion Renan Barao puts his belt on the line for the second time when he faces Texan Eddie Wineland. It's a fight which was originally scheduled to take place at UFC 161 but, due to an injury to the champion, had to be postponed. This may very well be the last time the interim-title is defended with rumours that champion Dominic Cruz is set to return early next year and it's certainly a good fight with which to end the era. Barao (30-1, 1 no contest) is riding a magnificent thirty fight win streak with his only career loss coming in his professional debut. Wineland, on the other hand, is an ever-improving fighter who has bounced back from two demoralising defeats to team alpha-males Joseph Benavidez and Urijah Faber to earn victories over Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett and secure himself a shot at the gold. Barao is, rightly, the bookmakers favourite coming into this fight. He is a submission specialist with almost half of his wins ending in a tap-out. The Brazilian has looked unflappable in his 5-0 UFC career so far and will have no fear of the American wherever this fight goes. For Wineland striking is his forte having won half of his fights via knockout. In his last victory against Englishman Brad Pickett, one of the best strikers in the division, Wineland showed just how far his striking has come along. He destroyed Pickett is a terrific three round technical performance where he picked apart the Londoner at will. Barao's easiest way to victory will probably be to take the fight to the ground and finish it. Should this fight stay standing it will be a sure-thing for fight of the night honours – and it very well could. TUF 10 alumni Matt Mitrione and Brendan Schaub meet in another fight which had previously fallen victim to the dreaded injury bug. The pair were due to lock horns at UFC on Fox 8 in July but when Mitrione was forced to pull out injured the match-up was postponed until this coming Saturday. With both men entering UFC 165 off of a win in their last fight following two defeats this one is tough to call. In beating Lavar Johnson last time out, Schaub showed his versatility with a dominant grinding wrestling display in a performance nobody had expected from “The Hybrid”. Mitrione, conversely, is coming off of a ruthless twenty second knockout victory over Phil De Fries. Schaub, who has been accused of having a suspect chin in the past, is unlikely to be too willing to trade with his powerful opponent. Instead, expect him to look for the takedown early and often. Mitrione will be weary of that and will need to stick to a solid gameplan, something he has struggled to do in the past. This is a pick 'em fight and as always with the heavyweights expect there to either be a big knockout of a big bore-fest. Following the lopsided middleweight fight between Francis Carmont and the #7 ranked Costa Philippou (which Philippou should easily win) is possibly the most intriguing fight on the night between unbeaten Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov and Strikeforce veteran Pat Healy in the lightweight division. Nurmagomedov (20-0) is a sambo specialist and one of the fiercest up and coming fighters in the UFC today having made light work of Abel Trujillo, Thiago Tavares, Gleison Tibau and Kamal Shalorus in his four Octagon outings to date. Number ten ranked Healy (29-16, 1 no contest) will be, by far, his toughest test to date. Both men love to strike hard and dominate their opponents on the ground. Healy showed that in his fight against Jim Miller (which he won but later had the result changed to a no contest due to a drug test failure for marijuana) in a fight which he unexpectedly dominated from pillar to post. Speaking of dominations, Nurmagomedov's victory of Abel Trujillo was one of the most dominant in UFC history. He rag-dolled the Blackzilian for three rounds on the ground and even had time to showcase his patented suplex. The question hanging over Nurmagomedov is whether he can still be as dominant with a step up in competition. On Saturday night we will find out. There is an outstanding preliminary line-up headlined by the exciting match up between unbeaten prospect Myles Jury and TUF 16 inmate Mike Ricci. Training with the likes of Rory McDonald and UFC champion Georges St-Pierre at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, Canada Ricci has not only a formidable training opportunity but also a lot to live up to and against Jury he will need to be at his very best. Alliance MMA's Jury won his last fight was a stunning one punch knockout of Ramsey Nijem at UFC on Fox 7 giving him the eleventh finish of his twelve fight career. This one can only be good wherever it goes. Expect fireworks. Also featured are a quartet of bantamweight's as late-replacement Wilson Reis takes on #10 ranked Ivan Menjivar and Canadian Mitch Gagnon battles yet another unbeaten fighter in Dustin Kimura. Stuck in the middle of all of that is the welterweight meeting of Chris Clements and the always exciting Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. In his last fight Thompson showed much improvement in the wrestling department following his crushing defeat to Matt Brown. If “Wonderboy” can keep this one standing look out for a stunning array of karate style kicks and punches followed by a big knockout.

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