By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on April 27, 2014
It was an explosive night of fights at UFC 172 in Baltimore. The event featured several emphatic finishes and was highlighted by yet another remarkable performance by Jon Jones. “Bones” extended his historic UFC light heavyweight title reign to seven straight successful defenses by dominating Glover Teixeira in the main event.
Here are the top five fights to make in the wake of UFC 172.
The two-time flyweight title challenger turned in a solid bounce-back performance in submitting the tough Tim Elliott in the first round in Baltimore. Joseph Benavidez needed the win after being knocked out by champion Demetrious Johnson in his last bout. “Joe Jitsu” remains a top contender, and a matchup against the winner of the June 7 bout between John Dodson and John Moraga would have the makings of a thrilling affair with title implications.
Jim Miller once again utilized his slick submission skills in finishing Yancy Medeiros in the first round. The veteran cemented his top-10 status with the triumph. A matchup against the No. 4 ranked Josh Thomson would be a solid test for both competitors. “The Punk” is eyeing a summer return after considering retirement after a close decision loss to Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 10. The defeat cost him a title shot at champion Anthony Pettis.
Glover Teixeira couldn’t deal with the height and reach of Jon Jones in losing a five round decision. The Brazilian showed he could take a great shot, but wasn't able to inflict serious damage on the champion. Teixeira saw his lengthy win streak snapped and a solid rebound test would be Phil Davis. “Mr.Wonderful” saw his title hopes dashed by Anthony Johnson and a fight against Teixeira would represent a chance to get back into contention.
Anthony Johnson showcased his immense power and athleticism in dismantling Phil Davis by unanimous decision. “Rumble” immediately becomes a key figure in the 205-pound division. Johnson against the winner of the UFC 173 clash between Daniel Cormier and Dan Henderson would be a strong next step. Both of those fighters are also in the light heavyweight title mix, and would represent a stiff test for the red-hot Johnson.
Their first encounter at UFC 165 was one of the finest light heavyweight title fights in history, so bring on the rematch. Jones looked impressive in pummelling Teixeira to set up a second fight against “The Mauler.” UFC President Dana White confirmed that Gustafsson will be next and even talked about the possibility of staging the fight in Europe. The two fighters put on an epic show last September and the rematch should produce more fireworks.
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