His opponent is Glover Teixeira, a man who both offers plenty of intrigue and also has the look of a severe underdog—which are two traits that will be commonplace throughout the night's events.
This makes for quite the spectacle. Alleged underdogs can shock the globe, or some of the most consistent names in the business can go about their dominant ways to the glee of supporters. Regardless, it's yet another card from Dana White that fans won't want to miss.
|Fighter 1||Fighter 2||Weight Class||Predicted Winner|
|Jon Jones (c)||vs.||Glover Teixeira||Light Heavyweight||Jon Jones|
|Phil Davis||vs.||Anthony Johnson||Light Heavyweight||Phil Davis|
|Luke Rockhold||vs.||Tim Boetsch||Middleweight||Tim Boetsch|
|Jim Miller||vs.||Yancy Medeiros||Lightweight||Jim Miller|
|Max Holloway||vs.||Andre Fili||Featherweight||Andre Fili|
Simple—will two of the sport's biggest names keep their eyes on the immediate prize?
It's apparently tougher than it sounds. Phil Davis wants a shot at Jones' title, but he first has to move past Anthony Johnson. That's no straightforward task, especially if Davis continues to focus more on Jones than his fight Saturday night:
Davis oozes confidence, so why is this a problem? He could learn a thing or two from Jones, who appeared to make the same mistake in his last fight.
That last fight came against Alexander Gustafsson, who almost pulled off the upset. Jones confessed on the Jim Rome Show, via Fox Sports' Damon Martin, that he overlooked his adversary:
Going into the Gustafsson fight, I had just beat Chael Sonnen. Somebody that almost beat Anderson Silva twice. I dominated Chael Sonnen in a minute and 30 seconds and I think for the first time in my career, I really started to feel myself. I really started to think maybe I've got this extraordinary talent and maybe I can't be touched.
I went 80-percent," Jones said about the Gustafsson fight. "I'm not making any excuses, Gustafsson did a great job in the fight, but I know I had a lot more in me. I did some of the cardio tests that I normally do and my numbers weren't the same.
It's hard to think Jones will make the same mistake twice, although he certainly enters a favorable matchup against Teixeira. The same can't be said for Davis, who has to remain grounded and deal with the task at hand unless he wants to suffer the same lesson.
Can Underdogs Prove Their Worth to Stick Around in UFC?
There's a lot on the line at the event. Health. Career trajectory. Food on the table. It goes on.
For some of the underdogs, it's all at stake. Look at Teixeira. He's won 20 straight fights and five since joining the UFC, but a loss to Jones in his first bout against respectable competition would cripple his credibility.
There's Johnson, who is in a career revitalization of sorts at 205 pounds as a stone-fisted knockout machine who certainly has what it takes to drop Davis in one shot. David Kano of MMA Show News is one who believes in Johnson:
I think we'll see a new @Anthony_Rumble this time. He manned up & said he needed to grow up. From security in Hollywood to co-main in UFC— David Kano (@TheDKano) April 26, 2014
But a loss? Forget it. Johnson will have a tough time ever getting back to title contention.
Don't just look at the top of the main card, though. In Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Boetsch, the latter should count his lucky stars he gets another shot at a top-10 opponent. A loss effectively ends his run.
Jim Miller vs. Yancy Medeiros? The latter has the makings of a major star after an impressive recent win—that was negated after a positive test for marijuana. In other words, he has yet to prove he belongs, although a win over a consistent contender like Miller would change things in a hurry.
Will the Hype of the "Stacked Card" Come to Fruition?
Look, a promoter's job is to create interest in the product he or she touts. White can't be blamed for hyping up 172's card, but it's certainly a wild card in the entertainment department.
His comments and actions, via Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith, sum up the situation perfectly:
Dana White calls UFC 172 "the most stacked card we've ever done." Then struggles to remember who's in the co-main http://t.co/HiTjf1R6hf— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) April 22, 2014
Jones may simply bully Teixeira in the main event, especially if he can take things to the mat. The same goes for Davis, as Johnson simply isn't comfortable in the wrestling department. Rinse and repeat, as Miller is a surefire victor if he applies a submission maneuver. Boetsch is a glutton for punishment who is in for a beating if he can't close the distance against Rockhold.
Each match may end early. While a fun event, fans may feel robbed of time and/or money. That, or a few wild upsets happen and the event goes down as one to remember.
What's it going to be?