Winning has become a habit for Glover Teixeira. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
The bull’s eye on the back of Jon Jones has drawn the attention of Glover Teixeira.
Teixeira will battle “Bones” for the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title in the UFC 172 main event on Saturday at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore. The 34-year-old challenger will enter the cage on a gaudy 20-fight winning streak, the 26-year-old champion on a 10-fight tear.
Jones last fought at UFC 165 in September, when he took a hotly contested unanimous decision from Alexander Gustafsson at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The Jackson-Wink MMA representative has secured 15 of his 19 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Teixeira, meanwhile, has not lost a bout in more than nine years. The heavy-handed Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt last appeared at a UFC Fight Night event in September, when he put away “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Ryan Bader with first-round punches at Jornalista Felipe Drumond Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Sherdog.com touched base with a number of fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC 172 headliner:
Jeff Hougland: I hope Glover mounts “Bones,” TKOs him, takes his belt and puts his cat on eBay.
Tom DeBlass: Glover wins by KO in the third. Jones won’t break his will.
Luke Barnatt: Jones wins by being long and destructive. Then he gets his rematch with Alex and takes another five-round beating.
Justin Salas: Jones wins by TKO in the third via elbows.
Wilson Reis: I have Jones winning by TKO in fourth round. Glover is a very dangerous opponent, just like Jon, but I think Jon will have more in the tank since he is used to more of the five-round fights.
Darrell Montague: I like the challenge that Teixeira’s KO power will give Jones, but I just believe Jones is too mentally and physically good. I see a late finish, probably by submission or ground-and-pound, after the third round.
Sean Spencer: I have mixed feelings about this fight. I believe Jones will retain the title, but Teixeira will give him a run for his money.
Josh Sampo: I think this is a very interesting fight. I want Teixeira to win because I always root for the underdog. I feel Jones has too much reach and athleticism for Teixeira to compensate. If Jones learned anything from the Gustafsson fight, then he will be looking to stop him early. Jones wins by TKO in the second.
James Vick: Jones wins by unanimous decision.
Isaac Vallie-Flagg: I pick Jon and me to win at UFC 172 -- just because.
Viscardi Andrade: It will be a great fight. Jones is the undeniable champion and enters as the favorite over Teixeira. Glover has heavy hands and comes in running over everyone.
Beneil Dariush: I’ll pick Teixeira, but he’s the underdog, no doubt.
Jared Rosholt: Jones wins. I don’t feel like Teixeira has much of a chance anywhere with Jones. He’s too long, too technical and too smart.
Tony Martin: This is a very interesting matchup. I think Teixeira poses a power advantage and is more technically sound, but Jones is very athletic and long. Jones wins by decision by fighting smart and using his strengths to his advantage. Jones’ length gives shorter fighters problems.
Ricardo Liborio: Glover wins via TKO or submission.
Mike Ciesnolevicz: This is going to be an interesting fight due to the fact Glover hasn’t lost in over eight years and Jones, in my opinion, is coming off his first loss at the hands of Gustafsson. Glover presents a lot of problems because he is a very strong fighter who has better hands than Jones and should have better Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It should be interesting to see how Jones bounces back now that he knows in his head that he can be beat. Gus not only outstruck Jones, but he outwrestled him, too. Glover seems to have a lot more punching power and better wrestling than Gustafsson. I think we will see Glover take advantage of the doubts in Jones’ head and put him down within two rounds.
Benji Radach: Jones wins by TKO.
Joe Duarte: Teixeira hits like a Mack truck and has the wrestling and grappling to back it up. I believe that he can take the belt from Jones.
Caros Fodor: I’m going with Jones in this one. I think Jones will use his reach and unorthodox striking on the feet to frustrate Glover and then use his wrestling to take him down and finish him.
Keith Berry: Jones wins by KO.
Ray Elbe: Jones is a freak-of-nature athlete, one of the first guys in the UFC that could have probably played in the NFL, NBA or any other professional sport on the biggest stage. He chose to play in the UFC instead. Teixeira will have a puncher’s chance, but “Bones” is the bigger, stronger athlete and will have a solid game plan to keep Teixeira just out of range. Jones will ground-and-pound his way to victory.
Mitch Clarke: As much as I love Teixeira, I’m going with Jones by decision. I think Jones’ long reach and excellent long-range fighting will make it hard for Glover to impose him game plan.
J.J. Ambrose: This is going to be an awesome fight. Teixeira has been on a tear through the division, and Jones asking for a drug test shows the level of respect he’s giving him. It’s hard to pick, but I lean toward Jones. He always brings a super unorthodox style to the cage that is very difficult to train for. I’m taking Jones. Dude is on another level right now.
Ed Herman: Man, this should be a great fight. Tex has been looking sharp. I think Jones might be worried about the power in his hands, but Jones has the dominant wrestling. That’s how I beat Teixeira, with some good, old ground-and-pound. With that said, I hope Tex wins so I can move up to light heavyweight and take his title again. I’m going with Teixeira by KO in the fourth round.
Robert Drysdale: Teixeira wins.
Javier Vazquez: Maybe I’m just whacky, but I don’t see this as a competitive fight. I see Jones all over Teixeira, using his length and strategy. I see a dominant performance by Jones, finishing Glover late in the fight via TKO stoppage in the fourth or fifth round.
Travis Wiuff: I have to take Jones by decision. I think he uses his long reach and kicks to keep Glover away and will outpoint him in a fight that will lack excitement.
Georgi Karakhanyan: Teixeira hits hard. Jones needs to use his reach to poke him and move and get takedowns and wear him out. Jones wins in the later rounds by submission or TKO.
Travis Lutter: I think Jones takes this one. Teixeira is dangerous, but I think the deciding factor is speed. Jones is faster and he’s the better wrestler, so I see him winning this one.
John Gunderson: I have to stick with Jones. Unless Teixeira gets lucky and catches him in the first round, I think Jones is going to put a beating on him.
Nam Phan: Teixeira wins.
THE FINAL TALLYPros Picking Jones: 21
Pros Picking Teixeira: 7
No Pick: 3
Follow Mike Sloan on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mikesloan19.