UFC 172: Biggest Takeaways from Jones vs. Teixeira as Sport Surges Ahead

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UFC 172: Biggest Takeaways from  Jones vs. Teixeira as Sport Surges Ahead


That's the one word that describes Jon Jones' performance on Saturday night at UFC 172, as he successfully defended both his light heavyweight championship and his title as best in the world, making quality opponent Glover Teixeira look like a hapless victim in the process.

While not the best title bout in the sport's history, it serves as an important indicator as to the direction Dana White's promotion is headed in the coming years.

Spoiler alert—things look great.

The Division Is in for Another Memorable Year


There's talent at each level of the UFC hierarchy, but it's hard to name a more loaded division than the one Jones' currently sits atop.

Outside of Jones, his recent adversary, Alexander Gustafsson, is quite the draw. By all accounts, including MMA Fighting writer Ariel Helwani's, part two is next on the slate:

Despite the mind-numbing loss where his best wasn't close to enough, Glover remains a top name. He's one of the most feared strikers the sport has to offer and won't have many issues bouncing back.

None of this is to suggest the division holds a legitimate threat to Jones' crown (more on that in a bit), but he's a must-see attraction, and the tier below him is rather even keel and will put together some quality action over the course of the next calendar year.

Jon Jones is Untouchable


Not an exaggeration. 

Jones admitted in the post-right interview with Joe Rogan that he altered the game plan dramatically after noticing Glover winding up for big shots.

Instead, Jones got inside of the lengthy wind-up—exactly where all experts agreed he shouldn't go since it plays to Glover's strengths—and abused his opponent at his own game through five rounds of action.

Brutal elbows, punches and the occasional clinch—with a shoulder projectile maneuver against the cage for good measure—all combined to fell Glover and erase the somewhat sour memories of Jones' previous bout with Gustafsson.

As Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden helps to capture, there's something electric about the 26-year-old's style that should keep fans glued to the sport:

At such a young age, it's scary to think Jones is still rounding out his arsenal and getting experience under his belt.

Big-Name Absences Are a Non-Issue


Georges St-Pierre. Anderson Silva. The list runs rather deep.

UFC needs a face, that one can't-miss fighter who sells pay-per-views, especially with the two names above sidelined. As it stands, Jones is that guy. He told the media after the win on Saturday that it felt good to be back in the good graces of viewers, per Jeff Wagenheim of Sports Illustrated:

"It felt good to have the fans on my side again," Jones said at the post-fight press conference. "It's been a long time since I'd had cheers. I thought, let me embrace that and give the audience some entertainment."

They aren't going anywhere. It's not because they have nobody else to turn to, either. It's because any lingering doubt that Jones is the next big thing and perhaps one of the best of all time has been officially put to bed.

Was Glover the absolute best threat? Of course not. But similar to Floyd Mayweather on the boxing side of things, Jones doesn't have a group of competition below him that is on his level to pick from, so we'll have to take what we can get.

It's hard to complain about the future with Jones leading the way.

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