UFC 172 Preview

ufc_172The last time Jon Jones entered the octagon it was against the man who man considered the greatest challenge to the title. Coming into the fight Jones was considered one of the top three fighters in the world regardless of weight class. He would take on Alexander Gustafsson who was the only fighter that could match the length of Jones and could potentially limit Jones in his striking. The fight would turn out to be one of the best fights of the year as Gustafsson met all of the expectations. Jones would come out on top in a somewhat controversial decision and would retain the light heavyweight title. Many believed that Gustafsson had won the fight but in reality Jones had won three out of the five rounds despite the damage that he took in the first two rounds of the fight. It was still the closest fight that Jon Jones would ever have in his career and the fans would immediately demand a rematch. Fans wanted to see the second chapter of this great fight and wanted Gustafsson to get his chance to beat Jones after the close decision. Unfortunately for Gustafsson and for many fans the rematch would not happen as another fighter had been waiting in the wings for a long time in the hopes that he could get a shot at the title. As exciting as the rematch would have been it was just the right decision to give Glover Teixeira a shot at the light heavyweight title after spending most of 2013 beating the best fighters in the division. He would take a back seat despite the fact that he would be considered the next in line to fight for the title multiple times. Teixeira has waited his turn and although the Gustafsson-Jones rematch would be one of the most exciting fights of the year Teixeira deserves his chance. Teixeira will also be looking to prove that he can provide just as much of a fight that Gustafsson did in September. Teixeira currently has one of the longest winning streaks in MMA as he is riding a 20 fight win streak. His last loss would come in 2005 giving him a 9-year run. It is almost unheard of for a fighter to go this long without a loss and because of that Teixeira would earn the right to fight for the title. Teixeira will now put his 20 fight win streak against the man considered to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Jon Jones is the only remaining dominant champion in the UFC after Anderson Silva lost his belt to Chris Weidman and Georges St. Pierre vacated his title when he semi-retired. Jones is the only champion in the UFC that remains at the top of the division with seemingly nobody ability to beat him, aside from possibly Gustafsson. It will be an interesting matchup between two strikers that love to stand up but have a completely different styles. Jon Jones has made his way to the top of the UFC with an extremely unorthodox style and strikes that come from everywhere and anywhere. He does not have that pure power that many fighters have but he throws shots that keep people off-balance and he can find the perfect spot to earn a KO. Teixeira is different in the fact that he has that pure power in his right hand that all true KO artists have. He is a fighter that can knockout anyone at any time with one punch but is a more conventional striker. Both fighters also have a ground game with the wrestling of Jones and the BJJ of Teixeira both at a very high level. Still they would both prefer to keep the fight standing and if they get in some trouble might try to take the fight to the ground. The fight is sure to be an intense one and with a legend for one fighter ending there is plenty to lose. When all is said and done Jones will be able to use his reach to keep Teixeira on the outside and earn a unanimous decision win that will result in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.

The Light Heavyweight title will take the focus in the second last fight of the night as well when the backup for the championship gets another fighter. As Jones takes on Teixeira a new top contender will be brought into the fold. That top contender will be Alexander Gustafsson who would earn a shot at the title against the winner of the main event at UFC 172. Whether it is Teixeira or Jones, Gustafsson is already in line for that shot. As the next fight has already been determined the other top ranked fighters must stay alive as they wait for the next two title fights. Those fights will take the Light Heavyweight division into 2015 giving top fighters a year to stay alive at the top of the rankings. That will be the case for Phil Davis who is currently ranked #4 in the division. Davis will likely have to wait at least a year to fight for the title and so his 2014 will immediately become a quest to fend off all challengers for his spot. The first of those challengers will be Anthony Johnson who is looking to skip over a few people as the #14 ranked fighter in the division. If he can beat the higher ranked Phil Davis he is sure to gain a number of spots and could set himself to begin a climb up the division just in time to avoid the backlog. The matchup will be another classic one as a world-class wrestler takes on a powerful striker. Phil Davis is a NCAA D-1 National Champion in wrestling and No Gi Jiu Jitsu World Champion. He uses this ability to his advantage in the octagon as he prefers to keep the fight on the mat. Johnson, on the other hand is a pure striker who has struggled with his consistency and will be making a return to the UFC after being cut in 2012. There will be a lot to lose for Phil Davis in this fight as he looks to stay among the potential contenders in the division while Johnson hopes to make his return to the UFC a good one as he tries to start his year off right.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Glover Teixeira [Light Heavyweight Title] (Pay-per-View)

Main Card:
Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (Pay-per-View)

Luke Rockhold vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (Pay-per-View)

Jim Miller vs. Bobby “King” Green (Pay-per-View)

Max “Blessed” Holloway vs. Andrew “Touchy” Fili (Pay-per-View)

Undercard:
Joseph Benavidez vs. Tim Elliott (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

“The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke vs. Bethe “Pitbull” Correia (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Yancy Medeiros vs. Joe “Excalibur” Ellenberger (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Danny “Last Call” Castillo vs. Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

“The Real Deal” Chris Beal vs. Patrick Williams (UFC Fight Pass)

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