The UFC rolls into Baltimore, Maryland tonight for UFC 172; a card that will feature Jon Jones defending his title against Glover Teixera. Jones is coming off a fight that for the first time in his career he looked human when he defended against Alexander Gustafsson. For the first time in his career he wasn’t able to come in and dominate his opponent and now that the aura of invincibility has been stripped away people want to see what is next for Jones. While it may sound like a strange thing to say, I think him being taken to the limit in his last fight was great for the stock of Jon Jones. Not only did it finally show that he is able to survive adversity but it actually made Jones look beatable. The latter is important because while people like dominant champions it is also important for those who don’t like the champion to believe that their opponent can stop him. If you aren’t a fan of Jon Jones and you don’t believe he could possibly lose his fight, then why would you order an event he headlined? It also reintroduces the feeling of “what if” back to the fight.
Don’t misunderstand though, Jon Jones is probably the most talented fighter on the UFC roster right now. While his official record shows one loss Jones was DQed in that fight against Matt Hamill in which he was soundly dominating due to illegal elbows. Jones also currently has the record for most successful Light Heavyweight title defenses at six and as of right now he is still champion. Needless to say Jon Jones is a fighter that is on a different level right now. His striking is some of the most unique in the UFC and he is arguably one of the best wrestlers in the division. His reach advantage allows him to keep his opponents on the outside while he picks them apart and he’s shown that he has tremendous submissions as well. So while the aura of invincibility may have been pulled back, the fact still remains that up until this point Jones still has shown himself to be unbeatable.
Glover Teixera is something else though when it comes to the world of power punchers. 13 of his 22 victories have come via knockout but he also has shown a submission game with 6 submission victories as well. That is to be expected though from a 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, needless to say Glover is a threat standing and a threat on the ground. It’s also worth noting that Glover is on a 20 fight win streak and hasn’t lost since a decision loss in 2005. Add in the fact that he’s never been taken down in his UFC career and you have a truly well rounded fighter.
The fight is going to come down to a few deciding factors: can Glover close the distance? Can Glover use improved striking defense? Can Jones avoid Glover’s power punches? If Glover closes the distance and lands clean shots then Jones is going out. However Glover needs to fight smarter than he did in the Bader fight. While Glover won the Bader fight he got dropped because he wasn’t keeping his hands up and allowed himself to get hit too many times. He showed this when he fought Rampage and Fabio Maldonado as well. He absolutely can not allow Jones to land those big shots on him.
I’m a huge fan of both guys and think this has the potential to be a really good fight but I think Jones will be able to use his reach advantage to keep Glover out of range and eventually pick Glover apart with forearms on his way to a late TKO victory.
In the co-main event of the evening Phil Davis will fight the returning Anthony Johnson. I’ve always been a fan of Johnson but lost some respect for him for the numerous times he missed weight that eventually caused him to be released from his UFC contract. That was when Johnson fought in the Welterweight and briefly Middleweight divisions. Having seen Johnson in person I have no idea how he ever safely made the 170lb Welterweight limit. Fighting at Lightweight (205lbs) is a much more naturally fit for him and greatly decreases the amount of weight he has to cut. Since being cut from the UFC Anthony Johnson is 6-0 with 4 knockouts and while he may be the underdog he poses a serious threat to Phil Davis.
Davis is a guy who has been clamoring for a title shot lately and is known for being a great wrestler. For him to jump forward in the line though he is going to need to finish Johnson. The most likely scenario would be a submission, and considering Johnson has shown to be susceptible to chokes in the past I’d say Davis’ vicious Anaconda Choke would be a great candidate. This is a fight though that Davis absolutely has to show how much he wants that title shot.
This one is tricky to call, Davis is a guy who has been able to impose his will on a lot of guys with his wrestling and Johnson has been taken down by elite wrestling Welterweights in the past. However all fights start on their feet and that is Johnson’s realm. I’m actually calling for the underdog to pull off the upset and think that Johnson is going to come out and knockout Davis to put a stamp on his UFC return. I think Davis is overlooking his opponent and is looking passed him to a fight with Jon Jones and it could very well cost him.
Here’s a look at the full card:
Main Card (Live @ 10PM EST on PPV)
- (c) Jon Jones (19-1-0) vs #2 Glover Teixeira (22-2-0) Light Heavyweight Championship
- #4 Phil Davis (12-1-0) vs #14 Anthony Johnson (16-4-0) Light Heavyweight Bout
- #5 Luke Rockhold (11-2-0) vs #13 Tim Boetsch (17-6-0) Middleweight Bout
- #9 Jim Miller (23-4-0) vs Yancy Medeiros (9-1-0) Lightweight Bout
- Max Holloway (8-3-0) vs Andre Fili (13-1-0) Featherweight Bout
Preliminary Card (Live @ 8PM EST on Fox Sports 1)
- #2 Joseph Benavidez (19-4-0) vs #8 Tim Elliott (10-4-1) Flyweight Bout
- Takanori Gomi (34-9-0) vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg (14-4-1) Lightweight Bout
- #14 Jessamyn Duke (3-0-0) vs #12 Bethe Correia (7-0-0) Women’s Bantamweight Bout
- Danny Castillo (16-6-0) vs Charlie Brenneman (19-6-0) Lightweight Bout
Fight Pass Prelims (Live @ 7:30PM EST on UFC Fight Pass)
- Chris Beal (8-0-0) vs Patrick Williams (7-3-0) Bantamweight Bout
Sleeper of the Night: Benavidez vs Elliott should be a great fight. Elliott is always fun to watch and Benavidez is looking to bounce back from his coming up short in his bid to become Flyweight champion.
Check back as the fights being for live up to the minute results and feel free to discuss the fights in the comments section.
- Chris Beal defeats Patrick Williams via Knockout at 1:51 of Round 2
- Danny Castillo defeats Charlie Brenneman via Knockout at 0:21 of Round 2
- Bethe Correia defeats Jessamyn Duke via Unanimous Decision (30-27,29-28,30-27)
- Takanori Gomi defeats Isaac Vallie-Flagg via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Joseph Benavidez defeats Tim Elliott via Submission at 4:08 of Round 1
- Max Holloway defeats Andre Fili via Submission at 3:39 of Round 3
- Jim Miller defeats Yancy Medeiros via Submission at 3:19 of Round 1
- Luke Rockhold defeats Tim Boetsch via Submission at of 2:08 Round 1
- Anthony Johnson defeats Phil Davis via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jon Jones defeats Glover Teixeira via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)