This Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland at UFC 172 the main event will feature reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jone Jones defending the title against number 1 ranked Glover Teixeira. UFC 172: Jones vs Teixeira takes place at the Baltimore Arena and will air live on pay per view at 9:00 p.m.
Jon Jones comes in to this fight looking to extend his record for consecutive UFC light heavyweight title defenses to seven. There should be no doubt why Jones sits on top of the UFC's light heavyweight division as well as the world's pound for pound rankings. Jones is 19-1 in his MMA career and also holds the longest win streak in UFC light heavyweight history with 10.
Glover Teixeira brings a 5-0 record in the UFC and a 21-2 record overall in his MMA career. Teixeira is on a red hot 20 fight win streak and has not stood outside of the winner's circle since 2005. Teixeira has also finished 19 of his 22 wins.
It is hard to see Teixiera winning this fight. Teixeira is a good fighter, but untested. He has no marquee win that sets him apart. In fact, it seems like Teixeira has moved his way into the number one contender spot because Jones has already run the table in the light heavyweight division. It just feels like Teixeira is fighting for the title by default.
I am not taking anything away from Teixiera. He is a dangerous fighter with good boxing and black belt in jiu jitsu. Teixeira has the tools to defeat Jones, however, finding a way to utilize his tools will be a different story. Teixeira will be giving up an 8.5 inch reach to Jones.
One of the things that Jones does well is use his reach to keep guys on the outside. Jones also brings a diverse array of elbows and kicks that he uses to keep his opponents at a distance. While Jones may not be as technically sound as Teixeira when it comes to the stand up department, he may not need to be.
Jones will have to use his footwork and striking to keep Teixeira from getting to the inside and forcing multi-strike exchanges. The inside is exactly where Teixiera can take advantage. Another place that Teixeira could find an advantage would be on top of Jones on the ground.
Jones has not been tested for extended amounts of time on his back. If Teixeira can find a way to take Jones down he mat be able to open some things up.
Of course, all of that is easier said than done.
There is no reason to expect Jones to not be able to inflict his game plan against Teixeira. Jones will use his length to frustrate Teixeira and pick him apart. Jones will take this fight to the championship rounds and test Teixeira's cardio. Jones will eventually find the openings he needs to work Teixeira over on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Jones is working his way into the spot of being the best in the world and may be beginning to creep into 'Anderson Silva status.'