The UFC 172 card is scheduled for April 26th in Baltimore, Maryland and the card features a main event of Jon Jones vs Glover Teixeira. The match has been on again and off again since late last year, as Teixeira has worked his way into the number one contender spot with a perfect 5-0 record in the UFC and a 20 fight win streak overall. the match was originally scheduled for Super Bowl weekend, but was cancelled. Jones will be on a long layoff, since September, when he experienced his toughest challenge to date in beating Alexander Gustafsson in a 2013 Fight of the Year candidate.
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It is precisely that match up between Gustafsson and Jones that makes the odds for this fight tough to make. Jones, who is at 19-1 overall in his MMA career, had basically been considered to have cleaned out the 205 lb division, until he ran into Gustafsson. Before that, and heading into the Gustafsson match, Jones’ fights created some of the highest odds for any UFC title fight in recent memory, several times heading into fights more than a 10 to 1 favorite at the sport books.
For the Teixeira fight, the line is likely to be a much more bettable line at the books. Teixeira is a different fighter than Gustafsson, and he lacks the physical height and reach that Gustafsson used so effectively against Jones. He is tough, and he has shown he responds well in a firefight, as he has been tagged and hurt and come back to win. Whereas Gustafsson was able to sit back and counterstrike against the explosive and unorthodox Jones, Teixeira is likely going to have to be the one coming forward and cutting off the distance.
We are going to find out a lot about Jon Jones. After the war with Gustafsson, he said all the right things. Will he be inspired to train harder and raise his game to another level, or will that talk be just post fight rhetoric? If he does, then this match will turn into a rewind to the dominant days of Jones’. If not, Teixeira is just hungry enough to make it interesting. He is famished.