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UFC 172 Preview: A Light Heavyweight Bout For the Ages

Niala Samnarine

By Niala Samnarine

April 23, 2014

describe the imageCurrent UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones will face a dangerous challenge in 22-2 fighter Glover Teixeira in Baltimore on Saturday at UFC™ 172. In one of the most anticipated light heavyweight matches in recent history, Bones looks to continue his impressive run as champ, while Teixeira looks to extend his nine-year undefeated streak and walk away as the UFC champ.

UFC® fans are in for a treat, as right before the main event they can whet their appetite for the light heavyweight division as the number four ranked Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis takes on number 14 ranked Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, in what’s sure to be another epic match at 205 pounds.

So with UFC™ 172 just a few days away, let’s take a look at the breakdown between fighters, and get a clearer perspective on who’s got the edge in both of these fights (as well as getting you to weigh-in on the rest of the main card!)

Jon Jones vs Glover Teixeira

Both fighters are riding impressive win streaks; Bones hasn’t lost a fight since first claiming the title and becoming the youngest champion in UFC® history (March 19, 2011). Teixeira is no stranger to winning either as he has been unbeaten in the Octagon® since 2006.

Jones’ wins have come in a variety of ways, including three submission wins, two KO/TKO wins, and two decision by UD, including his most recent win over Alexander Gustafasson at UFC™ 165. Jones has not fought since UFC™ 165, so it will be interesting to see how the absence from the Octagon affects his match at UFC™ 172.

Teixeira’s victories have also been varied. His victories in the UFC® include two submissions, one decision and two TKO wins. In his time at WEC, Teixeira was also able to rack up victories in a variety of ways. His last matchup was just over two weeks earlier than Jones, so both men will be facing each other after some time out of the Octagon®.

According to Cage Rank data Jones has a 70% chance of winning and his main advantages are:

  • 23 cm longer reach
  • Excellent dodging and blocking
  • Eight years younger
  • Taller
  • Stronger jaw

Teixeira’s main advantages coming into the fight are:

  • A longer win streak (and therefore more momentum), 20 fights vs Jones 10-fight win streak
  • Ability to finish faster
  • Better at knocking out good defenders
  • Better submission defense: the man has NEVER been taken down
While both fighters have strengths and wins on their side, after considering past fights, my pick is:
Jon Bones Jones in Round 4 by KO/TKO.

Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson

Mr. Wonderful is coming off of a three-fight win streak, including an impressive victory last year against Lyoto Machida at UFC™163. Johnson’s last matchup at middleweight saw him lose to Vitor Belfort early on.

For Rumble Johnson, he has struggled to make weight throughout his career, coming in over the weight limit four different times. For Davis, this match will be a chance to create a career defining moment, and convince the UFC® that he is the next number one contender in the light heavyweight division.

According to Cage Rank data Johnson has a 57% chance of winning. His main advantages are:

  • Heavy hands, he’s 35% more effective at knocking out opponents
  • Can finish a match quickly (minimizing his risk of injury)
  • Stronger jaw, meaning he’s much better at avoiding being knocked out

Davis’s main advatages coming into UFC™ 172 are:

  • His wrestling background makes him masterful at submission
  • Takedown offense: His ability to get people on the ground 
  • Very hard to hit
  • Greater submission defense

This is the ultimate matchup of striking versus grappling, Johnson’s powerful hands against Davis’ incredible grappling. This one is tough to call but my pick is:
Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis by unanimous decision.

Who are your picks for the light heavyweight matchups at UFC™ 172? What about the rest of the main card? Click through our poll to register your picks for UFC™ 172!

See the Action Live

UFC™ 172 is right around the corner, but UFC has already started announcing the fights for upcoming 2014 events, and boy, is it going to be an interesting year! UFC™ 173, UFC™ 174 and UFC™ 175 are already coming together, and UFC fans have already began salivating, as these are some of the most highly anticipated events of the year!

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