“And Still! The Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, Johnny “Bones” Jones!”
Those words were uttered by Bruce Buffer shortly after the one-sided five round contest against Glover Teixeira this Saturday at UFC 172. For Jones, it marks his seventh title defense in a division once considered the cream of the MMA crop. The event saw Jones set a record of 14 wins which surpasses Rashad Evans and Chuck Liddell for most wins in the light heavyweight division history; he also extended his divisional record, defending the title for the seventh time.
The pay per view card got off to a fast start with three submissions in successive fights out of the gate followed by two dominating decisions in the co-main event and main event.
Max Holloway and Andre Fili started out the night in a back and forth exchange which many expected. Both fighters were very similar, both with skill set and experience. Fili got the better of the exchanges in the first round, however as the fight wore on, Fili’s gas tank started to take a hit as Holloway only got stronger, finding his range and really started picking Fili apart. In the third round Holloway locked a brutal top mounted Guillotine where Fili was forced to tap feverishly as the referee was not able to see his first notice of submission as his arm was pinned on the opposite side of Holloway’s body.
The next bout took place in the Lightweight division between Jim Miller and Yancy Medeiros. Miller looked to have advantages wherever he wanted early. Miller was able to submit Medeiros with a slick guillotine choke of his own in the first round. Miller did what many expected of him and Medeiros looked clearly overmatched. Miller cited after the fight that he looks to fight better opposition in top level opponents.
The third fight was a Middleweight contest between Luke Rockhold and Tim Boetsch. Both coming off of wins in their last fight, each was looking to move back in the contender discussion with an impressive win. Rockhold did just that by way of a submission of the year candidate. Boetsch shot in and secured an early single leg takedown, Rockhold quickly slipped in a triangle choke that had Boetsch in all sorts of trouble as Rockhold then grabbed Boetsch’s arm and cranked for a kimura arm lock, forcing the quick tap out. Rockhold looked very impressive and might have thrown his name back in the mix since suffering the brutal spinning heel kick loss to Vitor Belfort. Rockhold chose to call for a rematch with Belfort.
In the Co-Main event, #4 ranked Phil Davis took on a returning UFC veteran in Anthony Johnson who used to cut an obscene amount of weight to make the welterweight division’s 170 pound limit. Now, Johnson’s competing at a much more natural weight class of 205 pounds, the light heavyweight division looked all the more menacing as he battered Davis for three rounds.
Davis had absolutely nothing for Johnson at any outlet he attempted. His wrestling was shrugged off, and striking he constantly was countered everytime he came within range by a much more polished, and surprisingly composed Anthony Johnson. Johnson took the win by way of Unanimous Decision, essentially placing himself in line for a huge top of the division matchup and possible title eliminator his next bout.
Into the Main Event we ride as Jon Jones looked to defend his belt for a record extending seventh time Saturday night against a veteran who has been highly touted and feared by many for years in Brazilian Glover Teixeira.
The fight took place predominantly on the feet with Jones, very surprisingly, standing in front of the power puncher and keeping the distance at a range advantageous to Teixeira. Jones landed inside elbow after inside elbow, leaving a bloody mess on Glover’s face. This was a surprise to Jones, who essentially was fighting Teixeira’s fight and beating him at his own game. While dangerous, it was highly impressive to watch such a wide margin of victory by the champ who was awarded a Unanimous Decision for his efforts.
With Jones likely to enter a highly anticipated rematch with the man from Sweden, Alexander Gustafsson, this was an impressive showing after Gustafsson had pushed Jones to a very close fight before losing in the narrowest of decisions to the champ. Jones knows what is next and will undoubtedly be prepared for the challenge.