Jon Jones put on a clinic against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172, but it would be unfair to say that Teixeira isn't deserving of some credit. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that both should be considered "winners" following Saturday night's main event.
Jones made his seventh consecutive title defense, already a light heavyweight record. ESPN Stats & Info's Twitter account has more:
At just the tender of age of 26, Jones still has quite the career ahead of him. His elbows proved lethal (as usual) against a very worthy opponent in Teixeira.
His elbows (arguably the two most devastating weapons in the entire UFC) were responsible for several gashes across Teixeira's face. He used blows from up close to do damage, and that's where he works best.
The best thing about Jones' performance was that he beat Teixeira at his own game. He is a physical fighter who is most effective when standing tall and delivering crippling uppercuts and powerful jabs. That's exactly what Jones did, and it probably wasn't something that Teixeira was prepared for.
Other than the elbows, Jones also used a strong game on the mat as well as long-range jabs to do damage on his opponent. It was a complete fight (if there is such a thing), and Jones should be commended not only for his win but also for his ability to show off all his skills effectively against a quality opponent.
Now, it may seem strange to call Teixeira a winner despite being defeated by someone who so clearly was playing his own game. While technically the fight's loser, Teixeira put on a show for a good majority of the bout and was successful in showing his grittiness and determination against a fighter he was clearly overmatched against.
He landed his strong uppercuts with various levels of success for the first 25 minutes or so of the match. Even when Jones retaliated with similar (but stronger) blows, Teixeira stood his ground. Or, if he couldn't stand his ground, he backed down only briefly before regaining his composure and stepping back into the battle.
It wasn't until the final minutes of the fight that Jones ultimately took over. By then, it was likely that Teixeira was simply wiped out from taking a beating for most of the fight. Regardless, he proved to the rest of the UFC community that he can take his hits and compete with arguably the top fighter in all of mixed martial arts.
That is commendable, which is what makes him a winner in my book.
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