Heading into UFC 165, top light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira was all set to watch it play out in Toronto to determine whether his title shot would come against either Jon Jones or Alexander Gustafsson. What the powerful Brazilian wasn’t counting on, however, was a title fight for the ages that could now have him on the outside looking in. While the UFC had promised Teixeira his title chance after a first round stoppage of Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 28 in Brazil, it is clear that a Jones-Gustafsson rematch has now vaulted to the top of the pecking order.
UFC President Dana White said in the post-fight press conference that his preference was to see Jones and Gustafsson battle again, but he would take some time in broaching the subject with the champion who obviously needs some down time to recover. The brutal affair sent both men to the hospital. The excitement of the fight and seeing Jones challenged in that manner for the first time in his career has many hoping to see “The Mauler” get another opportunity right away.
Gustafsson is already on board with the notion of doing it again in the wake of a close decision loss after five competitive and hard-fought rounds. The big Swede showed there was plenty more to his game than just his height and striking by actually taking Jones down and stuffing the bulk of the champion’s takedown attempts. That was a key in avoiding the champ’s brutal ground and pound.
Teixeira had stated going into the fight that he was hoping for a Jones victory, but what he wasn’t banking on was all the drama and a bit of controversy as there are certainly those who thought that Gustafsson had done enough to unseat “Bones” as champion.
What the fight did do was show that Jones isn’t nearly as unbeatable as had been portrayed while at the same time winning over some of his detractors with the courage that he displayed. Gustafsson definitely won a legion of new fans with his effort and the toughness he displayed. He established himself as Jones’ toughest rival and gave hope to the rest of a division that Jones had previously dominated.
Teixeira marveled after the fight at its brilliance but now probably realizes the greatness of that battle and the huge buzz it has generated may have put his immediate title hopes on hold. If the UFC wants the rematch and both fighters are on board it will happen. That’s just the nature of the business, and sometimes promises made are not always promises kept. If Jones-Gustafsson 2 does get set, Teixeira will have to get mentally prepared for another fight and his quest for gold will have to wait a lot longer than hoped for.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports