Tuesday April 22nd, 2014

Jon Jones survived the toughest fight of his career in defeating Alexander Gustafsson in September.
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images/SI

Everything you need to know about this weekend's big fight.


Tale of the Tape
July 19, 1987
Birth Date
Oct. 28, 1979
Rochester, N.Y.
Sobrália, Brazil
Ithaca, N.Y.
Danbury, Conn.
22-2 (1 NC)
Official weights announced at the weigh-in (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1)

There's only one No. 1. That might sound self-evident but it's not, especially in the UFC, where title belt-wearing No. 1s come in nine sizes. (OK, eight sizes, since there are both men's and women's 135-pound divisions. Whatever.) How do we put these champions in a pecking order? We compare them using subjective criteria.

So sometimes there are two pound-for-pound No. 1s: yours and mine. Sometimes there are even more, which was the case when Anderson Silva had a healthy leg and was at the peak of his magicianship, when Georges St-Pierre was still fulfilling his obsessive compulsion to thoroughly dominate, and when Jon Jones burst on the scene like one of those merciless winter storms he withstood while growing up in central New York. Silva was treated as the best of the best by most, but GSP had his devotees and Jones gradually drew blown minds in his direction.

Look at the landscape now. With Silva and St-Pierre on the shelf, it's all "Bones," all the time, or pretty close to it. Sure, the occasional plug comes wafting up on the South American breeze for consensus second fiddle José Aldo, but it's nearly unanimous that Jones is The Man.

That's remarkable, given his last performance. Back in September, Jones went five rounds with Alexander Gustafsson -- five hard rounds -- and came out of the experience still the champion but far from unscathed. He sure didn't look like the greatest force in mixed martial arts that night. Yet he remains No. 1. That says a lot about the unfathomable dominance he put on display during a peerless UFC run. After becoming the youngest champion in the promotion's 20-year history, he held firm to the belt by making four more ex-champs look like chumps. He built such a gap between himself and the rest of the field of fighters that the Gustafsson bout seemed like no more than a speed bump.

Was it? We'll find out on Saturday night when Jones takes on Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC 172 (10 p.m. ET, PPV) at Baltimore Arena.

The 26-year-old Jones (19-1 overall, 13-1 in the UFC) has been light heavyweight champion since March 2011, when he rocked Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. He then stampeded the gauntlet ex-champs -- Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort, each more convincing than the one before -- to stake his claim at the pound-for-pound peak, where he resides to this day.

Teixeira (22-2, 5-0 UFC), ranked No. 5 on the SI.com light heavyweight list (and No. 2 in the media-voted UFC tally), has not lost a fight since March 2005. Since then he's stepped in with 20 opponents and beaten them all. It may be hard to imagine Glover, 34, or anyone else beating Jones, but it's no easy task to picture Teixeira losing. Because he never does.

In addition to the pay-per-view telecast of the five-fight main card, four prelims will be shown on Fox Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET) and the card's other two bouts will stream on the UFC Fight Pass digital subscription service (6:15 p.m.).


"Who doesn't want to see this rematch?"

That was Dana White gushing in the aftermath of Jones's exhilarating title defense against Gustafsson. The UFC president was posing a rhetorical question. He could sense from the air in the room at the postfight press conference that an immediate Jones vs. Gustafsson II would be a popular direction for the promotion to go. Who wouldn't want to see that?

Well, there was one man who wouldn't. That would be Glover Teixeira, who'd done what was asked of him to earn the next shot at Jones. After entering the UFC on a 15-fight win streak, the burly Brazilian had run off five more victories in the sport's top promotion and done so with gusto -- two knockouts, two submissions, a couple of sublime comebacks. Now, without even stepping in the cage, he seemed to be coming out on the losing end.

But within a few days the wind had shifted direction and Teixeira was designated as the next challenger. Jones said he was deserving, and the champ has spoken of Glover with respect ... on those few occasions when he's been able to steer media question toward this fight rather than the next one (Daniel Cormier?) or the one after that (Phil Davis?).

And so it goes.

Last five fights


9/21/13 Alexander Gustafsson W UD 5

4/27/13 Chael Sonnen W TKO 1

9/22/12 Vitor Belfort W Sub 4

4/21/12 Rashad Evans W UD 5

12/10/12 Lyoto Machida W Tech sub 2


9/4/13 Ryan Bader W TKO 1

5/25/13 James Te Huna W Sub 1

1/26/13 Quinton Jackson W UD 3

10/13/12 Fabio Maldonado W TKO 2

5/26/12 Kyle Kingsbury W Sub 1

Other numbers to count on

95.8: Percentage of opponents' takedown attempts successfully defended by Jon Jones, best in UFC history. He's stuffed 23 of 24.

6: Consecutive UFC title defenses by Jones, a light heavyweight record.

5: Submission victories by Jones, most in the 205-pound division's history.

6.35: Significant strikes landed per minute by Glover Teixeira, most in UFC history.

3,318: Days it will have been since his last loss (2005 to Ed Herman) when Teixeira steps into the octagon.

Glover Teixeira has won 20 consecutive bouts and hasn't lost in nine years.
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images/SI

Greatest hits

Jon Jones becomes champion

Highlights from the Glover Teixeira win streak


The hype says Glover Teixeira hits like a mule. My eyes say he moves like one, too. The hype says Teixeira's ground game will threaten Jones. My eyes say they've not seen Glover operate against anyone remotely on Jon's level as a grappler. The hype says, in conclusion, that Teixeira poses the biggest threat yet to Jones's supremacy. My eyes get heavy with sleepiness at hearing that again. Everyone is Jones's biggest obstacle, until they aren't.

The truth is, we simply don't know what Teixeira can do against Jones because those 20 guys in a row whom Glover beat to get here resembled Jones only in that they wore gloves and shorts. Here's what we do know: You can hurt Teixeira -- Ryan Bader and Fabio Maldonado did -- but you'd be wise to not pounce without caution because you will be the one who gets hurt ... like Bader and Maldonado did. Jones's team certainly knows that, and Greg Jackson will be calmly reminding his fighter of that between rounds. If the bout gets out of the first, that is.

Jones has every advantage here. No, he doesn't hit harder than Teixeira, but he has the quickness and length to stay out of the danger zone. Glover is a strong grappler, but better than Chael Sonnen, the onetime Olympic alternate whom Jones manhandled? All hype aside, this has the makings of a sobering evening for Glover Teixeira and a renewal of Jon Jones's aura of dominance.

The odds

Jones is a heavy favorite at all sports books checked, with his money line ranging from -445 (bet $100 to win $22.41) to -600 (bet $100 to win $16.67). The lines on Teixeira range from +300 (bet $100 to win $300) to +415 (bet $100 to win $415).


Twenty straight victories. Nine years since his last defeat. Those are staggering numbers. But here's one that's not so impressive: zero -- as in, the number of Top 10 conquests by Teixeira. Glover is good, but no one he's been in with has prepared him for what he'll face on Saturday night. Jones by TKO.

Must-see photo

A fourth-round elbow by Jon Jones turned around his fight against Alexander Gustafsson.
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images/SI

Fighting Words

"It's easy to stay focused on Glover. Just Look at the guy's record. I mean, the guy hasn't lost a fight in five years. He's beaten 20 people in a row. He's obviously a very special fighter. So I know that to beat so magnificent a fighter, I have to be on my game. I have to be even more magnificent than he is."

--Jon Jones, during a conference call with reporters on Monday, addressing the premature talk about whom he'll face next

"Jones is champion. He's been champion for a while. Most people are going to favor him."

--Glover Teixeira, addressing the same question during the call

The Tweet Beat

Join the conversation about Jones vs. Teixeira on Twitter. Track the hashtags #JonesTeixeira and #UFC172 to see who's tweeting what about Saturday's fight.

@jonnybones (Jon Jones, champion)

@JacksonsMMA (Training gym of Greg Jackson, Jones's head trainer)

@GloverTeixeira (Glover Teixeira, challenger)

@Pit_Master (John Hackleman, Teixeira's trainer at The Pit)

@ufc (Ultimate Fighting Championship)

@danawhite (UFC president Dana White)

@jeffwagenheim (SI.com's Jeff Wagenheim)

@lorettahuntmma (SI.com's Loretta Hunt)

@chuckmindenhall (Chuck Mindenhall, MMAfighting.com writer)

@arielhelwani (Ariel Helwani, Fox Sports 1/MMAfighting.com interviewer)

@LukeThomasMMA (Luke Thomas, MMAfighting.com writer)

@MikeChiappetta (Mike Chiappetta, FoxSports.com MMA writer)

@benfowlkesMMA (Ben Fowlkes, USA Today/MMAjunkie.com writer)

@kevini (Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports MMA/boxing writer)

@bokamotoESPN (Brett Okamoto, ESPN.com MMA writer)

@davedoylemma (Dave Doyle, MMAfighting.com writer)

@MMAjunkieJohn (John Morgan, USAToday/MMAjunkie.com writer)

The rest of the card

Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson, light heavyweight

Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Boetsch, middleweight

Jim Miller vs. Yancy Medeiros, lightweight

Max Holloway vs. Andre Fili, featherweight

Preliminary card (8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1): Joseph Benavidez vs. Tim Elliott, flyweight; Takanori Gomi vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg, lightweight; Jessamyn Duke vs. Bethe Correia, women's bantamweight; Joe Ellenberger vs. Vagner Rocha, lightweight.

Online prelims (6:15 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass): Danny Castillo vs. Charlie Brenneman, lightweight; Chris Beal vs. Patrick Williams, bantamweight.

Programming Notes

Mike Goldberg will handle blow-by-blow and Joe Rogan analysis for the main-card telecast on pay-per-view as well as prelims on Fox Sports 1 and the UFC Fight Pass. An hour-long postfight show begins at 1 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

More coverage on SI.com

Follow our live blog Saturday night, beginning with the first main card bout.

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