Hopefully the third official announcement will truly be the charm. UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones will make his seventh title defense at UFC 171 against top-contender Glover Teixeira. The event is set for March 15 in Dallas. The Jones-Teixeira matchup had previously been announced twice as the headliner for UFC 169 and UFC 170, but both announcements were quickly rescinded by the organization as “Bones” needed more time to recover from his grueling five-round war at UFC 165 against Alexander Gustafsson. Jones established a new record with his sixth defense of the 205-pound title thanks to the close unanimous decision verdict. It was easily the toughest challenge of his career and the champion gets another difficult assignment in the form of the dangerous Brazilian.
The hard-hitting Teixeira earned his title opportunity thanks to a first round stoppage of Ryan Bader at Fight Night 28 in Brazil. Teixeira has recorded 20 consecutive victories and is a perfect 5-0 inside the Octagon. He’s also recorded UFC victories against James Te Huna, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Fabio Maldonado and Kyle Kingsbury. Jackson was the only one of the five to last the distance. Teixeira is a tremendous finisher with 19 of his 22 career victories having come by way of knockout or submission.
Jones has clearly shown himself to be a dominant champion since taking the light-heavyweight title in a third-round stoppage of Mauricio Rua back in 2011. He showed tremendous toughness and courage in his most recent fight against “The Mauler”. However, that bout did show that Jones can indeed be hit and maybe wasn’t as indestructible as most had perceived. Teixeira has the power to get the job done but clearly like Gustafsson did, he will need to produce the best fight of his career if he has any shot at ending Jones’s historic title reign.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports