Early Thoughts on Jon Jones Facing Glover Teixeira Next on Super Bowl Weekend

Jon-JonesThe news broke yesterday that UFC President Dana White is ready to lock up the company’s traditional Super Bowl weekend card in 2014 with the Jon Jones versus Glover Teixeira Light Heavyweight title bout. This puts a damper on all the talk of an immediate rematch with Alexander Gustafsson, who clearly gave Jones his toughest test to date when they met at UFC 165. Nevertheless, Teixeira has earned his title shot with an impressive undefeated 5-0 run in UFC and 20 wins in a row overall. When the line comes out, look for Jones to be the clear cut favorite, however look for the line to be in the (-300) to (-400) range in favor of “Bones,” not the usual astronomical lines we are used to for a Jones fight. This is mainly because of two factors – the hype around Teixeira, and that Jones is coming off a tough fight and that there is now at least a blueprint on how to slow Jones down, courtesy of Gustafsson. Teixeira is tough as nails, and if he can make it a dog fight like Gustafsson did, he has the mindset and skills to make it happen. He has to avoid his tendency to let his opponents get off on him. We know he is tough, because even Fabio Maldonado, who is a below average UFC fighter, had him rocked, and Ryan Bader shook him up pretty good in the opening moments of their fight. Against Jones, he is unlikely to be able to weather the storm if the champion pours it on. Teixeira has to extend the fight and he has to get through and if not hurt Jones, at least he has to let Jones know he is in a fight. Gustafsson benefited from his physical match-up with Jones. For his part, Teixeira will cede back to Jones the advantages of height and reach, which will make it all the harder for Teixeira to dictate the pace of the fight. Simply put, Jones can hit him before Teixeira can hit him back because of the reach advantage. Jones must see another war with Gustafsson looming in the background. His mindset would be not to look past Teixeira, but to look to overcome him convincingly. No fighter needs to weather back-to-back wars and he doesn’t want to leave another opponent in Teixeira’s reputation buoyed by his match with the champion. No more unfinished business for Jones. He needs to erase Teixeira and then deal with Gustafsson again. As for Gustafsson, White states he will be used as a main event fighter in Sweden for his next outing, and “The Mauler”┬áboth deserves to remain active and he to be made into a star in Europe. Any match is a risk, but Gustafsson should comfortably beat most of the division as he heads into a Jones rematch in late 2014. Gegard Mousasi (who was already booked to face Gustafsson once) could present certain risk to Gustafsson, but the big Swede is in for a big 2014. Teixeira would like to do better than Gustafsson and beat Jones, but if not, he can at least hope his star rises after the fight.

Written by Miguel

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