Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MMA Spotlight: UFC 172 - Jones -vs- Teixeira

    Here we go, fight fans! This Saturday night is UFC 172 featuring a huge main event of Jon “Bones Jones and Glover Teixeira for the Light Heavyweight World Championship! Since this event is so big and packed full of big fights I figured it would be fun to do up a quick blog entry where I discuss the event and do some predictions as to who I think will win.
    First off, let me reflect upon the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship and what it means to the sport of MMA. To me (and to many others), the Light Heavyweight division is the division that brought me into the sport. Sure, I’ve seen some random old school UFC events that went down in the 90’s, but the sport had not evolved into a practical and viable athletic event and was chock full of a variety of competitors that ranged from skilled to bar room brawlers. These days MMA employs athletes in prime condition who rank among the best stand up and ground fighters in the world eliminating the need for beer bellies who like to “throw dukes”. What brought this sport into the limelight were amazing bouts contested by the likes of Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort, among others, all of which competed for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. For what seemed like years fans were salavating over that specific division and it certainly grew to include some of the best fighters to ever enter the octagon with guys like Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin, Jon Jones, Phil Davis, Dan Henderson, Mauricio Rua, Rashad Evans, Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, Stephan Bonner, and Rampage Jackson competing within it’s ranks. And this Saturday night we will see it’s most dominant champion ever, Jon Jones, defend the title against a very dangerous Glover Teixeira. The UFC Light Heavyweight Championship has been held and defended by a who’s who of Mixed Martial Arts and has helped the UFC to become the massive company that it is today and continues to be what many consider the most important title you can hold in any weight class. Even more so than the World’s Heavyweight Championship, which is a title currently held by Cain Velasquez.
   With that said, it’s time to discuss the huge title match between Jon “Bones” Jones and Glover Teixeira which
is set to go down on the 26th of April.  I expect the main event of this Saturday’s PPV to either go the distance or to end via submission regardless of who wins. I think Glover has the KO powers to end it but I believe that Jones will defend nicely and keep his challenger at a distance which will give him the opportunity to break him down slowly but surely. Both men have some fantastic ground skills and if Jones can weaken Teixeira’s legs a bit and score a takedown I believe he could finish him on the ground by the 3rd or 4th round. If this doesn’t happen then I think Jones has this won via decision. The only way I see Glover winning this title fight is if he somehow lands a huge counter punch that stuns Jones and lands him on the mat where the challenger can employ his ground game and possibly get the champ to tap. Personally, I just don’t see that happening and as good as a fighter as Glover is I think Jones has faced better competition during his historic tenure as champion and I fully believe that Jon will walk out of UFC 172 as the Light Heavyweight Champion of the world. Some may disagree but Jones is the absolute favorite in this contest and the vegas odds are actually correct as it pertains to this fight. That is not a mark against Teixeira, who is a very good fighter, more so than it is a compliment to Jones who is a more “complete” fighter and a superior athlete. Speed and precision will win this one and my official prediction (and my hope) is that Jon “Bones” Jones is going to successfully defend his title.
   The second big fight on the card is going to be the returning Anthony Johnson vs Phil Davis, which I think could steal the show and win fight of the night honors from the Dana White himself. Anthony Johnson has been away from UFC for a couple of years now and has gone on a successful run in the World Series of Fighting where he has scored a win over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski and another notable fighter in Mike Kyle. Johnson has great KO power and could certainly land a crushing blow that could lay Davis out in a heartbeat, but I truly believe that the speed of Davis and the overall skill-set he possesses will place him in the winners column this Saturday. Phil Davis has wins over some VERY impressive fighters and I’m actually surprised that he was not next in line for a shot at Jones’ Light Heavyweight title and Glover was. I fully expect Phil to float around the octagon and tag Johnson over and over again with some punches and kicks before he takes Anthony down to the mat to showcase some intense ground game. Davis can do it all inside of the ring and I think that skill will outshine power in this contest, similar to how I believe the main event will go down. And if Davis wins I believe he should be next in line for Jones and NOT Gustaffson, though the Swede has been already named the #1 contender to the winner of the Jon/Glover bout. My prediction and hope is that Phil Davis walks out of the octagon as the victor this Saturday.
    Luke Rockhold vs Tim Boetsch is something of a wildcard for me. I’ve seen Rockhold fight a number of times and the same goes for Boetsch, but yet I can’t pinpoint anything really special either have done inside of the octagon. I guess Luke versus Tim will be a fight I will watch closely as I don’t really have any kind of favoritism toward either fighter and I don’t particular care for either fighter, so this fight will be a good showcase for either one to impress me and get me to “believe” in them and back them as a fan. Based upon what I’ve seen I’d place Luke Rockhold as the probably winner because his strikes are pretty good and he’s coming off a nice KO of Costas Phillippou from a couple of months back. As for who I want to win, we’ll just chalk this one up to a close draw.
    The rest of the fights on the card don’t really excite me as I’m not a big fan of the flyweight division and the two women battling aren’t really in any kind of title contention to face Ronda Rousey for her crown. I guess it will be nice to see Jim Miller in competition as well as Joe Ellenberger, and I know quite a few people like Joseph Benavidez, but all in all I’m mainly in this for the main event title bout and the Davis/Johnson fight. Whenever a premiere title like the Light Heavyweight Championship is on the line the UFC knows they can put lesser names on the card and the event will still sell considerably as long as the co-main event is somewhat interesting. So consider me excited for this Saturday’s PPV and to see the pound for pound best fighter (and athlete) in the world defend his title and continue his historic run as champion. Well, that’s it for this entry, I hope the fight fans enjoy the show this weekend and continue to support the UFC and MMA in general. Because whether you want to recognize it or not it’s the worlds greatest sport featuring the worlds greatest athletes.

© B-Sly The Gamer Guy

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