By Willis Patenaude @willispatenaude on April 23, 2014
UFC 172 is a stacked card of rising contenders and a Light Heavyweight Title fight as Jon Jones looks to retain the belt against No. 1 contender Glover Teixeira who hasn’t lost in 20 straight fights. Plus, Anthony Johnson returns looking for respect against LHW contender Phil Davis and Luke Rockhold, looking for a title shot takes on Tim Boetsch. Including those fights and two others, here are five bold predictions.
The journeyman and former wrestler at Arizona State University, Williams has the wrestling base to frustrate the one-dimensional Beal who is an easy target once you take him down. In a pure stand-up fight Beal might be more accurate, but he lacks the knockout power and fight finishing capabilities of Williams who will derail the Beal hype-train in his UFC debut.
Luke Rockhold is cocky, Boetsch is a huge underdog and we’ve seen this movie before. Sure, Rockhold has the advantage in just about every aspect, but he could possibly be thinking about the fight after this one which is where it turns into Houston Alexander vs. Keith Jardine and Boetsch -- probably fighting for his job -- drops the overconfident Rockhold with well-placed uppercuts for one last hurrah.
Johnson is going to have Davis crumpled in a heap of KO carnage wondering what happened when he finally wakes up. What happened was Davis spent too much time thinking about Jon Jones while “Rumble” Johnson returning to the UFC is looking to erase embarrassing defeat to Vitor Belfort from our memories. Johnson wants respect, and Davis sleeping on the canvas is going to help him get it.
Injuries and Alexander Gustafsson have proven that Jon Jones is not invincible, and he is as vulnerable as ever coming into the fight against Glover Teixeira, who has a ridiculous 20-fight win streak. Outside of Belfort, Jones has not faced the combination of punching power and submission ability Teixeira brings to the fight. Unlike Belfort, Glover will dethrone the Champ by brutal KO because every reign comes to an end.
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