UFC 172: Jon Jones dominates Glover Teixeira
UFC 172 in Baltimore saw light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones keep his belt and extend his wins in the division to 14, the most at 205 in the promotion's history.
A lot of pundits and fans saw Jones’ opponent, Glover Teixeira, as the next big thing. He is a good grappler with strong BJJ and heavy hands, and trains under former champion Chuck Liddells’s umbrella. And the Brazilian thought if he could get his hands on Jones like the Swede Alexander Gustafsson did he could walk away with the belt. Easier said than done.
Some wondered how Glover got the shot at all. His only defeat of a current top ten is Ryan Bader, and it’s a lot easier to look impressive when your opponents aren’t. You could say that about Jon Jones on this night. But enough fans wanted to see the match up.
By the end of the first it was clear Glover hadn’t the tool box to get inside Jones’ reach, where he needed to be to land his heavy hands. But as the fight progressed, Jones took the fight against the fence, in the clinch, and tore Glover to shreds with elbows.
Bones told Rogan after the fight that he noticed Glover loading up with looping shots and decided inside was actually the safest place, and the place where he could cause the most damage. His background in Greco-Roman took over from there.
Glover’s right shoulder was injured in round one when Jones attempted to isolate the arm while both men were standing against the fence. An elbow opened up a huge gash over Glover’s right eye.
While Gustafsson could have walked away from his loss to Jones being positive he could watch the tapes and come up with a victory next time, Glover is sure to limp away from this beating utterly befuddled. Jones’ spinning elbows, uppercut elbows, lead elbows, front kicks, scissor kicks, oblique kicks, and his often fearsome and fight-changing ground and pound are simply too overwhelming for a fighter with Teixeira’s limited if formidable skills.
This decision win doesn’t taste as good as Jones’ decisions over Gustafsson last year and Rashad Evans in 2012. A champion can’t finish every fight, but not finishing Glover, despite the rout, is a bit of a downer. While on his 16 fight win streak in the UFC, middleweight Anderson Silva never went the distance unless he chose to. Just sayin’.
Also at 205
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson returned to the UFC having fought there before at 170---where he had a terrible time with weight cutting and stamina---to take on one of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division, Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis. Davis, who is usually the strongest and most physically impressive man in the octagon on any given evening, was outdone by Johnson, whose power and takedown defense could only be called bullying. Davis was a boy versus a man, and was lucky to get out of there with his head still attached.
Rumble was gracious in victory, thanking Dana White for bringing him back, and is sure to bring a lump to the throat of his next opponent. The man could be fast tracked to a title shot.
Former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold had his UFC debut last May sullied by a quick KO via Vitor Belfort, but in January he KOed impressive striker Costa Phillippou and on this night submitted a strong wrestler in Tim Boetsch. He did it with a reverse triangle that he parleyed into an inverted triangle kimura.
But the lesson here is that Rockhold now has a handhold on the promotion, and looks every bit as impressive as Chris Weidman did before he grabbed the belt. He thinks ahead and considers angles his opponents aren’t imagining. I’m salivating for a Rockhold v. Weidman fight already.
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