This Saturday night, the UFC makes its way to Baltimore, Maryland for UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira, where Jon “Bones” Jones will be looking to defend his UFC light heavyweight title for a record seventh time. His opponent, Glover Teixeira, is riding a 20-fight winning streak, and is confident that he can use his heavy hands to knock Jones out and take the title.
April has been a busy month for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and by the time Jones and Glover step into the cage for Saturday’s light heavyweight title fight, there will have already been 44 fights inside the Octagon this month. With so many events, and so many fights happening in quick succession, we begin to ask ourselves: What separates one show from another, or one fight from the next?
Fear not, ardent mma fans, as I have put together some compelling justifications for why you should give in and watch more fights. Here are my top four reasons to watch UFC 172.
The Best Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World is Fighting
Jon Jones is the best fighter fighting. He is the longest reigning current UFC champion. He captured the UFC light heavyweight title in March of 2011, and has defended it six times since then. His most recent fight was perhaps the greatest fight of all-time. He also showed us in his last fight that he is indeed human, and can be taken down, and can bleed his own blood. He’s a heavy favorite against Teixeira, as he should be.
Don’t count Glover out just yet. No one thought that Alexander Gustafsson was going to give Jones the fight that he did, and just as many people are looking past Teixeira, as Gustafsson is back in line for a title shot. The chance exists that Glover Teixeira can knock out Jon Jones. And I don’t mean in the “anything can happen” sense of having a chance in mma. I mean that Teixeira is not an unworthy adversary for the long-reigning champion, and I think this one just might end up being a fight.
Here’s Jones winning the title from ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 128:
Phil Davis and Anthony Johnson are Fighting
These two are proof that the 205 lbs. division hasn’t been cleaned out by Jones. Light heavyweight is becoming something of a hydra, where when you cut off one head, three more appear. The winner of this fight is going to have a good claim to a title shot, regardless of how many contenders are ahead of them. Phil Davis has wins over Gustafsson and Lyoto Machida, both of whom are currently slated to fight for a championship in their next outing.
Davis is already setting his sights on Jones, saying recently that he’s going to “crumble him like a cookie”, but he needs to get past Johnson first. ‘Rumble’ will have seven wins in a row if he gets past the #4 ranked Davis. Anthony Johnson has found a weight that he can make, without losing any of his scary punching power. No doubt he’ll be looking to put Davis away early, because the longer this one goes, the more it favors Phil Davis.
UFC 172 Countdown: Davis vs. Johnson Video:
A Battle Between Undefeated Bantamweights
Jessamyn Duke is 3-0 as a pro, and Bethe Correia is 7-0. Duke had the ‘Fight of the Season” on TUF 18 in her opening round battle with Raquel Pennington. Since then she’s been training with the champ, Ronda Rousey at Glendale Fighting Club, and at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu with Eddie Bravo.
Correia has been fighting for less than two years, and trains with the Pitbull Brothers in Brazil. She made her UFC debut with a split-decision win over Julie Kedzie. Both girls want to remain amongst the ranks of the unbeaten, but they’ve got to get past the other to do so. They share tenacity in their fighting style, and this one shouldn’t disappoint.
One of the Last Times We’ll See Team Alpha Male Under Coach ‘Bang’ Ludwig
Danny Castillo, Andre Fili, and Joseph Benavidez are all fighting at UFC 172. The Team Alpha Male fighters always seem to be fighting on the same card, which usually means we see a lot of Duane Ludwig cornering his fighters. Ludwig is set to amicably split from the team next month, moving to Colorado to open his own gym and be closer with his family.
We’ve become accustomed to seeing Bang Ludwig bossing these lighter-weight guys around on their way to victory, and it’s going to seem foreign for a bit when he’s no longer there. Saturday night, he’s got three more opportunities to showcase the virtues of his ‘Bang Muay Thai’ system with the dudes from Sacramento.
There’s a lot to take in on Saturday, and all it kicks off on Fight Pass at 7 PM ET.