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Jones dominates Teixeira at UFC 172

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BALTIMORE, April 26 – After his grueling win over Alexander Gustafsson last September, some wondered whether UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones would be willing to fight in the trenches with a qualified challenger who had every intention of taking his title from him. Saturday night at the Baltimore Arena, Jones proved that he was not only willing to fight like that, but that he was better than ever in those trenches, winning a lopsided five round unanimous decision over Glover Teixeira to retain his crown for the seventh time.

All three judges saw it 50-45 for Jones, who said of his performance, “it was all improv.”

Jones opened the fight with kicks, Teixeira swinging with punches upstairs. Jones’ first takedown attempt was defended well, and Teixeira kept moving forward, doing whatever he could to keep his hands in the champion’s face. Jones mixed things up nicely with his striking, but nothing significant landed. With less than two minutes, left, Jones caught a Teixeira kick and put the challenger on the mat, but the Brazilian rose immediately and got back in the pocket, hoping to land the punch that would change his fortunes forever.

Teixeira sprawled out of Jones’ early second round takedown attempt, proceeding to stalk the New Yorker around the Octagon. Jones’ countered Teixeira’s rushes well, and his defense was solid as well. There was a brief halt to the action as Jones was warned by referee Dan Miragliotta for an eye poke, and Teixeira had his best sequence of the fight shortly after, as he caught Jones with some hard hooks against the fence. Jones fired back a few moments later with a series of elbows, and he was frustrating the challenger by putting his hand on his forehead, distracting him from the task at hand.

By round three, Jones appeared to be almost toying with Teixeira, firing off punches and kicks and even knocking his opponent’s mouthpiece out with an uppercut. Teixeira wouldn’t let Jones get an ensuing takedown attempt, and at close range against the fence, the Rio de Janeiro native again had momentary success. But Jones quickly regained control, cutting Teixeira above the right eye and doing some excellent infighting in the process.

The Jones clinic continued in the fourth, with a stiff jab sending Teixeira’s mouthpiece flying this time. The Brazilian’s cut also worsened, as the 26-year-old champion simply picked apart the game Teixeira, who saw things go from bad to worse in the closing seconds as he was put on his back by Jones just before the bell.

With five minutes to go, Jones opened with a quick takedown, Teixeira rising just as fast. The two proceeded to trade blows at close range, only to see Teixeira’s mouthpiece get dislodged for a third time. And though Teixeira kept pressing, it was to no avail, as Jones avoided trouble and walked away with another victory that improved his record to 20-1.

The 34-year-old Teixeira, who saw a 20 fight winning streak snapped, falls to 23-3.

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