Jon Jones will put his 19-1 record on the line against Glover Teixeira, who has a 22-2 mark. (Getty Images)
The ever-improving Jon Jones (20-1) made his seventh title defense with a unanimous decision against an over-matched Glover Teixeira (22-3) at UFC 172 Saturday in Baltimore, Md. The 26-year-old champion outworked Brazilian Teixeira with a array of kicks from the outside and knees and elbows from the inside.
In round three, Jones cut Teixeira over his right eye with an elbow and continued to target the wound throughout the bout. Trapped often by Jones on the fence, Teixeira was given little room to work his punches. Jones said he made a concerted choice to move in on Teixeira as the fight wore on.
“A lot of [my performance] was improv [tonight]… but I realized mid-fight that he was winding up his punches and you can’t wind up when someone’s on top of you,” said Jones.
Main Card Results:
- Jon Jones def. Glover Teixeira - Unanimous Decision (50-45 all)
- Anthony Johnson def. Phil Davis - Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)
- Luke Rockhold def. Tim Boetsch - Submission (Kimura) 2:08 R1
- Jim Miller def. Yancy Medeiros - Submission (Guillotine Choke) 3:18 R1
- Max Holloway def. Andre Fili – Submission (Guillotine Choke) 3:39 R3
10:46 p.m. - Teixeira enters to his mentor Liddell's old entrance music. We see Jones backstage, and as his music builds, he breaks out into a quick dance routine moving into his walk to the cage. I'm told it's Ray Lewis-esque. Pretty fun.
10:54 p.m. -- Teixeira booed heartily in his Buffer intro. Jones gets a decent pop from crowd. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta. Jones keeps his eyes down in their staredown, but touches gloves at end.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira
Does Teixeira has a chance tonight? The answer is no…and yes. The long-time project of John Hackleman, who coached Chuck Liddell to UFC fame, Teixeira’s early career was marred by immigration issues, which kept him mostly off the radar. When he finally returned to the States full-time, he made a bid for the UFC. He’s won five bouts in the UFC since May 2012 against so-so competition. He’s not the toughest guy out there right now for Jones (that’s Alexander Gustafsson), but he was the available one when Zuffa needed to book the fight. Teixeira is a heavy hitter, but his lack of speed and footwork should make this easy work for Jones.
Unless, and this is where the ‘yes’ comes in, Jones overthinks things tonight. The 26-year-old champion (19-1), in his seventh title defense (how did we get here so fast?), is as strong as ever. He got into a war with Alexander Gustafsson last September and won a moderately contested decision. That’s the fight everyone wants to see again. This should just be a pit stop for Jones tonight.
R1 – Jones opens with kick. Teix seems edgy, but he’s trying to counter. Jones shoots and misses TD. Teix having most success with an overhand right, which has grazed a couple of imrd. Teix shoots for single, but no go. 3:00 to go and Jones is slightly ahead. Jones with switch-kick to Teix’s head. Teix moves in with a combo. Jones answers with a left that lands. Jones catches a Teix kicks and takes him down. Teix pops up to his feet. 1:10 to go. Teix misses with an uppercut. We’re at a steady pace, here. Jones lands a spinning back kick. :30 to go. Jones’ leg gets caught on Teix with an ax-kick attempt at the bell. Jones 10-9
R2 – Jones opens with a TD attempt, but Teix is right there to block it.Jones with solid inside kick. Teix swings hard, but his range is not there yet and Jones is just so fast. Jones throws another axe kick. Jones elbows Teixeira, who barely escapes the ensuing clinch. They separate and ref Miragliotta warns Jones on eye-poking. Re-start and Teixeira makes his strongest assault yet, pushing forward with a combination. Jones circles off fence and takes center. They get in close quarters for this last 90 seconds. Jones setting up his elbow and lands a couple. Jones with spinning back kick, pushing Teix to fence. Jones ends round with a pretty wheel kick. Jones 20-18
R3 – Teix opens with his overhand right. Jones seems confident to stand in close range with Teix. Jones lands solid knee in a quick clinch. Jones lands an uppercut. Jones with a TD attempt; Teix holds on the fence. They battle for position. Teix lands an uppercut and Jones circles out to center. Jones pushes Teix to fence again; sets up his elbows. Teix answering with uppercuts that aren’t really landing. Teixeira now bleeding from his nose. Jones is grinding him down on fence. They separate with 1:15 to go. Jones has Teix back on fence and begins to unload with body shots and elbows. Teix trying to fight back, but Jones has him tied up too well. Jones 30-27
R4 – Teix has a gaping cut over his right eyebrow. Jones starts his attack on the outside, but decides to move in closer, which gives Teix a better chance to land. Jones likes working on the fence tonight, grinding Teix down. Elbows and knees from Jones until they’re back to center. Ref Miragliotta stops fight when Teix loses his mouthguard a second time. 2:30 to go. Jones pumps the right jab, moves between stances. Jones is wearing Teix down with kicks and elbows. Jones pushes Teix to fence, throws an elbow and then another. He thwarts every counter Teix throws. This bout is quickly losing its sizzle. Jones is just too good for Teix. Jones lands a TD at the bell. Jones 40-36.
R5 – Jones and Teix hug as fifth round begins. Jones lands immediate TD, Teix wall-walks up, but is stuck on fence with Jones the aggressor. Jones keeping Teix’s wrists tied up. They move into a flurry exchange and the crowd erupts until Teix loses his mouthpiece. Again. They re-start center with 3:00 to go. Jones keeps moving forward – he’s fighting on the outside, inside, moving back and forth. Teix is all busted up and just treading water at this point. Jones is very relaxed, maybe a little tired. He mostly blocks a weak Teix for the last minute to the bell. Jones 50-45
Official Result: Jon Jones def. Glover Teixeira - Unanimous Decision (50-45 all)
10:44 p.m. - UFC rolls into its main-event video package. We're about 10 minutes out from our headlining bout.
Light Heavyweight: Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson is an interesting story. He was banished from the UFC for missing weight on multiple occasions at welterweight, then was scooped up by World Series of Fighting, a rival promotion. In the WSOF, Johnson (20-4) broke former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski’s jaw and knocked out Mike Kyle – both in heavyweight bouts. Watching Johnson at 205 tonight will be an interesting experiment. He has the KO power, and possibly enough speed, to catch Davis standing.
Davis, a former Penn State wrestler, has had a big learning curve in the UFC. He’s not one of those wrestlers who’s adapted to MMA particularly well. He struggles with his striking (too slow, not enough power) and still fairs the best as a straight-on wrestler. This could be a good thing for him tonight. Johnson is lethal on his feet, but a lot less of a danger on his back.
R1 - Not much happening for first minute. Johnson is huge. Davis tries to tie Johnson up, but Johnson shrugs him off. He looks strong. Johnson center-cage, trying to find his range. Johnson starting to land counters, pushes Davis to fence, nearly get a finish, before Davis circles out. Avis is bloody on left side of face. He shoots again and misses. The dust settles . Davis is swinging and missing. Johnson is in control. Outside kick from Johnson into a big right. Bell. Johnson 10-9
R2 – Davis comes out strong, looking for something to slow Johnson down. Davis lands an inside kick, but no follow-up. Johnson continuing warm up into his striking; throws a combo here and there. Johnson throws head kick and is blocked. Johnson with an uppercut. 2:30 to go. Davis starting to stumble a bit, circling out from Johnson’s steady attacks. Davis is working hard to stay in this. Johnson catches Davis kick and makes him pay with uppercut-led combo. 1:00 to go. Davis shoots and Johnson sprawls free. Fifth missed attempt. Johnson looks great tonight. Johnson 20-18
R3 – Johnson pumping his jab. Lands an overhead right. Johnson is totally in control. Davis shoots, but no go. Davis hasn’t landed a single TD yet. Davis pushes Johnson to fence and Johnson pushes him off with a knee. He looks so confident, so in control. Johnson blocks a Davis front kick. 2:00 to go. Davis throwing, but not landing anything. 1:30 to go on fence. Davis pulling on Johnson’s leg to get him down. Johnson is unflappable. Fans boo in the final seconds when there’s no comeback from Davis. Johnson 30-27
Official Result - Anthony Johnson def. Phil Davis - Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)
Middleweight: Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Boetsch
Former Strikeforce champion Rockhold successfully headlined a Fight Night in January against Costas Phillippou, ending the fight with a KO via body kick. Rockhold (11-2) is well versed in all areas, but seems to favor his tenacious striking. This is why he and Boetsch is such a promising bout on paper.
Don’t let Boetsch’s 17-6 record fool you. He’s been matched up against some heavy players – Okami, Munoz, Davis – and has held his own. He’s not a pretty striker, but an effective and durable one who leans on his kicks. Boetsch’s last win came over C.B. Dollaway via split decision last October in his 12th trip to the Octagon.
R1 – Boetsch with opening front kick. Rockhold Kicks and Boetsch shoots for a single leg, but Rockhold rolls into a reverse triangle choke from the top! Boetsch on his knees, turtled, but it’s locked in tight. Rockhold throwing light punches to soften Boetsch up. He than grabs Boetsch’s right arm for a Kimura and adjusts the triangle. Tapout. Super impressive win for Rockhold.
Official Result: Luke Rockhold def. Tim Boetsch - Submission (Kimura) 2:08 R1
11:07 p.m. - Rockhold asks for the Belfort rematch.
Lightweight: Jim Miller vs. Yancy Medeiros
A Strikeforce veteran, Hawaiian Medeiros (9-1) had the biggest win of his career – a first-round KO over Yves Edwards – overturned when he tested positive for marijuana. A KO over Edwards is not an easy task, though I suspect Medeiros will have his hands full with the more experienced Miller.
Miller (30-1) is a compact 155-er with decent enough striking, above-par grappling and a grinding style that wears opponents down. Miller, 30, is a fringe contender and stands to gain a lot with a blowout performance tonight.
R1 – Feeling out for the first minute. Medeiros looks tentative to start anything; Miller looks like he’s waiting for an opening. A lot of swings, misses and blocks for both. Miller lands first big strike (left) around 2:40 and Medeiros smiles. Miller clinches immediately, than rolls Medeiros into a guillotine. Medeiros wiggles, but won’t tap out. Medeiros goes limp and ref Yamasaki steps in.
Official Result: Jim Miller def. Yancy Medeiros - Submission (Guillotine Choke) 3:18 R1
10:50 - In his post-fight speech, Miller rattles off a list of guys he wants, which includes Josh Thomson, Donald Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos -- all fights that could get him into title contention.
10:06 p.m. - We get our first surprise this evening. Announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan have shed the skin-tight black button-down shirts for suits. What's going on here?
10:11 p.m. - Fili enters first. His ears are taped up to hide those extended cosmetic holes he has in them. Holloway is next. Our referee is Kevin Mulhall.
Featherweight: Max Holloway vs. Andre Fili
Twenty-three-year-old Fili (13-1) made his successful Octagon debut last October with a second-round TKO over a 7-5 Jeremy Larsen. The rest of Fili’s resume looks pretty thin for a UFC PPV slot. However, he trains with probably the strongest collection of under-155 fighters in the country and is a hungry striker.
Holloway’s making his eighth UFC appearance, where he’s batting even at 4-4 against lower-tier UFC competition. He’s 1-2 in his last three, the last fight a second-round TKO win against Will Chope in January.
R1 – Fili closes distance and gets tagged once by Holloway. Holloway takes center cage and lands a spinning back kick. Fili with outside leg kick. Fili follows up with a left that slows Holloway down. Holloway slips to his behind, but is back up fast. Fili with a body shot. Good body kick. Fili is scoring on single shots. Fili lands a great combo; Holloway answers with spinning back kick that misses. Holloway lands a solid right, then another. Fili drops levels and lands a sold takedown; Holloway bounces to his feet. Holloway catches a Fili kick and a clinch ensues on the fence. Bell. Fili 10-9
R2 – Holloway with a front kick. Holloway lands the spinning kick again and backs Fili up. He takes advantage with a clinch on fence, landing body knees. They separate and Holloway has center canvas. Holloway is a lot more poised than Fili, but Fili’s outworking him. Holloway catches another Fili kick and takes him down. Back to its feet fast, Holloway connects with a right. Fili looks a little winded; he’s starting to slow down from the adrenaline rush. Fili catches a Hollaway knee and takes him down into Holl’s full guard. Ref urges them to get busy. They’re re-stood a few seconds later. Holloway with another back kick that lands. Fili tries to turn it into a TD opportunity, but Holl holds his ground. Fili shoots again at bell, but Holl fends him off. Holloway 10-9
R3 – They trade light fare for first minute until Fili shoots and can’t complete a TD. He’s successful 30 seconds later, though. Fili’s in half guard, but Holloway works his way to his feet quickly. 2:40 to go. Holloway lands a right and Fili clinches. Fili’s mouth is wide open. He shoots again and Holloway headlocks him and drags Fili to his knees. Getting to their feet, they stall on the fence, until Holloway explodes with a left-right-left. Fili goes for a single leg and Holl has the guillotine, dropping to his back. Tapout.
Official Result: Max Holloway def. Andre Fili – Submission (Guillotine Choke) 3:39 R3
- Joe Benavidez def. Tim Elliott – Submission (Guillotine Choke) 4:08 R1
- Takanori Gomi def. Isaac Vallie-Flagg – Unanimous Decision (29-18 all)
- Beth Correia def. Jessamyn Duke – Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
- Danny Castillo def. Charlie Brenneman – KO :21 R2
- Chris Beal def. Patrick Williams – KO (Flying Knee) 1:51 R2