With Anderson Silva no longer the champion and Georges St-Pierre retired for now, Jones has become the most recognizable champion in the sport. On Saturday night, he'll attempt to extend his title reign to the proportions of those two legends with his seventh consecutive title defense.
Standing in his way this time will be Teixeira. The 34-year-old Brazilian may not draw the most headlines, but he is one of the best 205-pounders on the planet on paper.
A Chuck Liddell protege, he holds a 20-fight win streak that extends back to 2006, with five of those wins coming in the UFC.
However, none of those wins has come against someone of Jones' caliber because there is no light heavyweight like him. Here's a look at the latest odds for the fight as well as a brief breakdown and prediction.
Odds (via Odds Shark)
When you look at Teixeira's track record, it feels like he's being a bit undersold as a challenger. He has the ability to finish fights—he ended four of his five wins in the Octagon by some form of stoppage. With 13 of his 22 career victories coming by way of knockout, it's the one thing that could make this an interesting night for the champion.
Teixeira believes that he has the ability to end Jones' night early if he can get to him:
However, the big question is if he can get to him. Sure, Teixeira is a vicious striker. But finding a way to get past Jones' 84.5" reach is easier said than done.
Up until the champion's recent tussle with Alexander Gustafsson, Jones had looked unbeatable in the Octagon. The 6'5" Swede was the first fighter to match the champ's incredible length, and it proved to be a difficult challenge for Jones. He took "Bones" the full five rounds before losing a razor-thin decision.
At 6'2" with a reach of 76", Teixeira will be dwarfed by the 6'4" Jones when the two step into the Octagon. This means he'll to have to find ways to close the distance without taking damage and either taking the fight to the mat or landing some of his signature strikes.
Teixeira must be respected. His record speaks for itself, and he's a tough challenge for anyone in the light heavyweight division. However, his versatility and power are likely to come up short against the length and creativity of Jones.
The fact of the matter is that the champ is not only a brilliant offensive fighter who can use his length to land a wide assortment of strikes, but he's also a highly skilled defensive fighter. He only absorbs 1.89 strikes per minute and has defended 96 percent of the takedowns he's seen as a UFC fighter.
The only man to take down Jones was Gustafsson. Once again, that was a product of the challenger's ability to match Jones' use of distance in the striking game, which led to an opportunity for the takedown.
Those opportunities will be much more difficult for Teixeira to find. Jones should be able to stand just outside of the challenger's range and remind everyone that he has some stopping power of his own after the tough decision win against Gustafsson.
Jones via Round 3 TKO.
All statistics and measurements via FightMetric unless otherwise noted.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!