MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Jones vs. Teixeira Next

UFC-on-FOX Jon Jones has his next opponent lined up, and it’s not Alexander Gustafsson. reported early Thursday morning that the UFC light heavyweight champion asked UFC president Dana White to fight Glover Teixeira next, and the UFC obliged his request. Jones will now fight Teixeira for the title in early 2014, likely at the Super Bowl show in Newark, New Jersey on Feb. 1. As for Gustafsson, White said that the Swede will get a fight in Sweden around the same time and, if he wins, will be next in line for a light heavyweight title shot. There has been a lot of outcry on Twitter and other social media forums this morning about Jones vs. Teixeira, but I’m OK with this decision. First off, even though it was a close fight, Jones won. He won the fight on all three judges’ scorecards and almost every media member scored the fight for the champ. Actually, now that I think about it, it was only a select group of fans who thought Gustafsson won the fight, and the people that matter — namely, White and Lorenz Fertitta — didn’t. That’s why “The Mauler” isn’t getting an immediate rematch, even though he was by far the most competitive opponent of Jones’ career so far. Furthermore, Jones — who just set the record for UFC title defences — asked to fight Teixeira next. I believe that Jones has earned the right to fight a fresh challenger, so although there are many people upset that Gustafsson isn’t getting the rematch, Jones didn’t want it and what the champ wants the champ gets. Secondly, if Gustafsson had been given this second title shot again and loses, then he will be 26 years old and with two-straight losses to the current champ. That means his career would be nearly at a dead end, similar to Joseph Benavidez at bantamweight, but with the difference being Gustafsson has no way to cut down to a lower weight class like Benavidez would. So now instead Gustafsson will get more time to improve and he will gain some momentum if he defeats the next opponent the UFC hands him in Sweden early next spring. And third, Teixeira has earned his shot to fight for the title. The man is on a 20-fight win streak and is 5-0 inside the UFC with all of those victories being extremely dominant. The man deserves to get a crack at the 205-pound belt, and although many aren’t giving him a chance to defeat Jones, no one was giving Gustafsson a chance either and we all saw what happened there. Booking Teixeira vs. Jones instead of Gustafsson vs. Jones was a very tough call on the UFC’s part but at the end of the day this is the choice White and co. made and since they’ve been putting on great fights for 13 years, we might as well trust them to keep doing so.

Written by Adam Martin.

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