The UFC 172 card set for Saturday in Baltimore isn't exactly jam-packed with stellar bouts. The world's best mixed martial arts fighter, Jon "Bones" Jones, will be in action, but his opponent, Glover Teixeira, probably won't give him much of a problem.
Teixeira is a quality light heavyweight, but he's not in Jones' league.
He lacks the speed, length and explosiveness to threaten Bones' reign as king of the 205-pounders.
The headline says "bold predictions," so let's get started.
Bones Will Stop with a Spectacular Strike
Known for his varied and unpredictable attacks, Jones could strike from any angle. By his own admittance, he has toned back some of his less-than-conventional attacks.
Recently, he told Bleacher Report's Jeremy Botter:
“I think I fight a little more safe than I used to. I don’t do all the wild and crazy things I used to."
There's nothing too crazy about a well-placed head kick.
Teixeira will be kept at bay by Bones' elbows and front kicks, but at some point the challenger is going to expose the side of his head.
Jones will have the opportunity to do damage. Look for him to capitalize.
Luke Rockhold Will Destroy Tim Boetsch
Don't be fooled into believing that Luke Rockhold isn't a beast because of what Vitor Belfort did to him at UFC on FX 8 in May 2013.
The spinning heel kick that caught Rockhold flush was a freakish event.
Rockhold is a solid fighter who is now even more focused after the humbling loss. He proved that in his decimation of Costas Philippou.
But before that happens, Rockhold will use superior athleticism and conditioning to batter Boetsch on Saturday night.
Phil Davis Will Dominate Rumble on the Ground
Depending on who you ask, this might not be considered a bold prediction. Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is making his return to the UFC, and though he's known for his striking, he's also a decent wrestler.
The problem for Johnson is that Davis is an elite wrestler. In fact, he may be the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the UFC.
He'll get Johnson on the ground, and from there, it'll be curtains for Rumble.
Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting agrees. He writes:
I'm a firm believer in Davis' ability to manage a clock in a professional MMA bout and properly strategize an attack. He takes all the time he needs to get the job done right.
Davis is a strong, muscular guy, but he's also very smart and tactical. He'll get the fight he wants, and win it easily with his grappling.
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