UFC 172 Fight Breakdown: Jon Jones (-525) vs. Glover Teixeira (+415)

Jon Jones The main event of UFC 172 is a five-round title bout between UFC  light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and top contender Glover Teixeira. The current betting line for the bout at Several Bookmakers lists Jones as a -525 betting favorite (bet $525 to win $100), while Teixeira is a +415 underdog (bet $100 to win $415). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Jones at -735 and Teixeira at +475, meaning there has actually been some action on the dog Teixeira as the lines have tightened up. I can understand people wanting to take a shot at Teixeira given the lopsided odds so I get the line movement, but after really thinking about this fight I have to side with the champion Jones to retain his title. Here’s why. Jones (19-1) is the UFC light heavyweight champion and he has defended his belt six-straight times. Just 26 years old, Jones is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world already and when it’s all said and done he’s likely to be in the discussion of the greatest fighters of all time. With a resume that includes wins over Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Ryan Bader, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Stephan Bonnar, Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko and most recently Alexander Gustafsson, amongst others, Jones has crafted out an incredible career for himself already and the scary thing is he is still improving. Blessed with an 84″ reach, extreme athleticism, amazing creativity, top-notch wrestling, incredible submission, good fight IQ, a solid chin and backed by a solid camp in Team Jackson – Wink, Jones is a tough matchup for anyone in the division and save for a DQ loss to Matt Hamill he would be on a 20-fight win streak right now. Although Jones showed he is human in his last outing against Gustafsson, the reason for that was because his opponent had a similar reach, something which Jones’ latest challenge Teixeira, doesn’t have, and which is likely to be the ultimate determinant of how this fight goes. Teixeira (22-2) is the top contender at 205 pounds and earned his title shot against Jones on the heels of a 20-fight win streak which includes five-straight wins in the UFC over the aforementioned Bader and Jackson plus other notable wins over Kyle Kingsbury, James Te Huna and Fabio Maldonado. A long-time training partner of former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, Teixeira is just like “The Iceman” in that he has extreme knockout power in his fists to go along with excellent wrestling. However, unlike Liddell the Brazilian has excellent BJJ skills as well and is arguably the most well-rounded 205er in the division outside of Jones and Gustafsson. Although some believe the 34-year-old didn’t deserve a title shot and that Jones should have fought “The Mauler” again, the UFC clearly sees Teixeira as an intriguing opponent for Jones and they really wanted to book this fight. However, for Teixeira going from the likes of Bader and Te Huna to Jones is a massive step up in competition and it’s unclear how he will handle it. Although Teixeira is riding a huge wave of momentum into this fight, he’s running into a beast in Jones and he’s about to face the toughest test of his long MMA career. It’s always hard to predict how Jones’ fights will go given his unpredictable nature, but in this particular fight I believe Jones will utilize his reach advantage and should be able to hurt Teixeira with long-range attacks. I expect Jones to use his kicks to keep Teixeira at bay, and if Teixeira tries to go for a takedown I think Jones can stuff them and perhaps even catch Teixeira with his knees or elbows coming in. Jones has got to be careful about avoiding that big knockout shot from Teixeira’s hands, but if he can do that he should be able to at some point in 25 minutes land something crazy — perhaps a spinning elbow or a standing guillotine choke — and stop Teixeira dead in his tracks to retain his title. I’m been picking Jones to win every fight he’s been in ever since he entered the UFC and I’m once again picking him here, but unlike all the other times when I was confident to bet heavy on him I just can’t do it here. Teixeira is a really talented fighter in his own right and has extreme knockout power so I definitely can’t lay the big juice on the Jones moneyline because I think his opponent is much too dangerous. However, I do like the prop on the fight not going the distance at -250. I don’t see any way this fight between two proven finishers lasts the full 25 minutes and I definitely think that’s the way to go for a bet here just in case Teixeira does manage to pull off the upset.

Written by Adam Martin.

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