Despite being hospitalized following a hard-fought title defense against Alexander Gustafsson, Jon Jones is set to return to the Octagon in less than four months.
UFC president Dana White recently told ESPN.com that Jones could meet Glover Teixeira on Feb. 1. On Thursday evening, Newsday.com confirmed with UFC officials that Jones and Teixeira would compete at UFC 169, the promotion's annual Super Bowl Weekend fight card.
With his win over Gustafsson, Jones surpassed Tito Ortiz and became the UFC record holder in consecutive light heavyweight title defenses. Although a move to the heavyweight division has been on Jones' mind, it appears the dogfight with Gustafsson has renewed the champion's interest in the 205-pound division.
A rematch with Gustafsson was a possibility following Jones' narrow win over the Swedish challenger. However, UFC matchmakers have decided to hand Jones a fresh foe and allow a potential rematch between the young light heavyweight stars to build up.
Teixeira is undefeated in his five fights inside the Octagon, and it has been over eight years since the 33-year-old Brazilian has been defeated.
Although he was rocked in his last outing against Ryan Bader—an opponent Jones walked through en route to the UFC championship in 2011—Teixeira has done enough in the eyes of the UFC brass to warrant a shot at the light heavyweight strap.
Jones, on the other hand, wasn't all that impressed with Teixeira prior to his matchup with Gustafsson. In speaking with MMAFighting.com last month, the champion said, "If you have a great opponent and great understanding, then you won't rush into a guy like Ryan Bader who is obviously going to swing looping punches at you. I don't think (Teixeira's) the guy who's going to beat me."
To be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., UFC 169 will take place the night before this NFL season's Super Bowl.
In addition to the 205-pound championship bout between Jones and Teixeira, UFC 169 has added Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir. Newsday.com also learned the struggling heavyweight stars have had their bout bumped back to accommodate Mir's recovery from a recent knockout loss to Josh Barnett.