BALTIMORE — The last time fight fans saw Jon Jones in action, his trainers were carrying him out of the octagon after a 25-minute war with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in Sept. 2013.
He may have successfully defended his UFC light heavyweight belt for a record sixth time, but the sight of seeing the man they once considered unbeatable bloodied and bruised left many fans wondering if the champion had finally reached his peak.
But Saturday night, ‘Bones’ quickly put that question to bed with an absolutely dominant unanimous decision victory over heavy hitting Glover Teixeira in front of a sold out crowd at the Baltimore Arena.
“I had to answer a lot of question after my last fight…had I lost my mojo?” Jones told reporters following his victory. “I answered those tonight.”
Teixeira entered his title fight against Jones riding an impressive 20 fight winning streak that dated all the way back to 2005. With one-punch knockout power in both hands and a very underrated ground game, the hulking Brazilian was being billed as one of the greatest threats to Jones’ throne atop the 205-pound division.
Early in the fight, Jones utilized his 84.5-inch reach to keep his opponent at bay with a series of crisp jabs.
But as the fight progressed, the champion picked up steam and showed just how deadly his stand up game truly was.
As he continuously pressed his opponent against the cage, the champion got right in Teixeira’s face and blasted him with everything from vicious spinning back elbows to hard straight kicks to the knee and even an axe kick.
“A lot of it was improv,” said Jones. “The game plan was takedowns and going at him from range. But I realized he was winding up on his punches, and you can’t do that when someone is on top of you. So I switched the game plan up to go extremely short range and it worked out great.”
With blood leaking out of his face, Teixeira absorbed everything Jones threw at him and even visibly rattled the champion halfway thought the second round after connecting with a quick combination against the cage.
“He took my best shots. He took my left hook three or four times and he kept coming back. He’s a great champion,” said Teixeira.
This turned out to be the only real significant offense from Teixeira who went on to reveal he might have suffered a broken rib during the fight.
This victory pushed Jones winning streak to 11 straight, including a UFC record seven consecutive light heavyweight title defenses.
“I’ve worked so hard, put so much time in the gym to get to this point…I have gigantic goals. I already have the record for title defenses in my division but I’m gunning for [Georges St. Pierre’s] or Anderson Silva’s records next.”