According to an April 22 report from USA Today, hard-hitting light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira (22-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is extremely confident heading into his UFC 172 title bout against Jon Jones. Teixeira, 34, is so sure that he'll notch a win over Jones (19-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) that he considers himself a favorite heading into the fight.
Teixeira, who is riding a 20-fight win streak, doesn't see himself as an underdog, even though most betting sites list Jones as a 4-1 favorite to retain his title. Teixeira has good reason to believe he'll walk away with a victory, as he has one-punch knockout power and a flair for fast finishes. Teixeira is 5-0 in the UFC.
While Teixeira hasn't lost in nine years, Jones has been near-perfect as well. Jones' only UFC loss came by way of a technicality, as he was disqualified for throwing an illegal downward elbow at Matt Hamill. Most UFC fans consider Jones to be undefeated, even though that fight counted as a loss.
Thirteen of Teixeira's 22 wins have come by way of knockout, so he obviously has heavy hands. He'll likely want to keep the fight standing to test Jones' chin, but "Bones" is no slouch on his feet. Jones has an 84.5-inch reach, so he'll probably want to use that to his advantage in his clash with Teixeira.
Jones, 26, will enjoy a two-inch height advantage, along with a significant reach advantage. Teixeira will need to find a way to get inside Jones' reach, if he's to have any chance of notching a knockout finish. UFC 172: Jones vs Teixeira goes down April 26 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore. Whoever wins will walk away as UFC's light heavyweight champion.
Also on the UFC 172 card, Phil Davis has a chance to put his name in the light heavyweight title picture as he takes on fast-rising superstar Anthony Johnson. Davis, 29, is currently ranked No. 4 at light heavyweight, so he's getting closer to a crack at Jones or Teixeira. A win at UFC 172 might put Davis over the top with UFC officials, to get the title shot he's been craving.
Jon Jones vs Glover Teixeira
UFC light heavyweight champ Jon "Bones" Jones looked beatable for the first time in his UFC career during his recent fight against Alexander Gustafsson. Jones said that fight humbled him a bit, so it will be interesting to see what happens when he goes against Teixeira.
Jones, who recently said he's no longer interested in moving up to heavyweight, needs to get past Teixeira to earn another crack at Gustafsson. Daniel Cormier and Phil Davis are also waiting patiently for their title shots at light heavyweight. It's quite the exciting time for the division.
Phil Davis vs Anthony Johnson
UFC 172 features an exciting light heavyweight clash between Phil Davis and Anthony Johnson. It's not officially a No. 1 contender's bout, but a decisive finish by either man could push them into title contention.
Cormier and Gustafsson are probably both ahead of Davis as far as rankings go, but a nice performance by Davis could change that perception. Davis also recently called out Jones during the UFC 172 conference call.
Luke Rockhold vs Tim Boetsch
Luke Rockhold and Tim Boetsch are both hoping to continue to climb up the middleweight ladder, for a possible title shot against Chris Weidman. Whoever wins this clash will be one step closer to a championship bout. Both men are coming off victories.
Jim Miller vs Yancy Medeiros
UFC 172 also features an exciting lightweight bout between Jim Miller and Yancy Medeiros. Miller is always exciting, and he has won two of his past three. As for Medeiros, his recent knockout victory was overturned to a No Contest because he tested positive for marijuana. Whoever wins this clash will emerge as a true title contender at lightweight.
Max Holloway vs Andre Fili
Holloway, 22, has emerged as a true contender at featherweight. He bounced back from back-to-back losses with a nice knockout victory in his last fight. As for the 23-year-old Fili, he's also coming off a knockout victory. Both men are amongst the top up-and-coming young bucks in the division.