Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was in all kinds of trouble in his five-round title defense against Alexander Gustafsson, thanks to a surprise attack from "The Mauler" that had him winning striking exchanges and shucking off takedowns.
The Swede ultimately went down on points when all was said and done, but came closer to dethroning "Bones" than any competitor who came before him, to the point where the final outcome was unclear until all three scorecards were read aloud.
So why not finish what Gustafsson started?
Because Glover Teixeira knows that a champion of Jones' caliber is already hard at work to correct the mistakes he made at UFC 165 and the holes that were in his gameplan last September, will more than likely be closed by the time they do the deed later this spring.
The Brazilian explains to MMA Fighting:
"In a perfect world, I'll win via first-round knockout. But I believe it's going to be a tough fight. Jon Jones is an excellent fighter, so I expect a tough bout. We see holes in every fight but this last one (against Gustafsson) showed more. But I can't train focused on that. I have to believe in my boxing and wrestling to impose my game. He's a super champion and will be back stronger after he studies his own weaknesses. I can't focus on that."
That's going to be the big story heading into UFC 172.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are curious to see how Jones looks in his first fight back -- especially considering how busted up he was last fall -- when he takes center stage at the UFC 172 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place on April 26, 2014 at Maryland's Baltimore Arena.
Not that there should be cause for alarm.
While his last title defense was a close call, it's impossible to overlook the kind of damage Jones (19-1) has done in the 205-pound division, handily disposing of every challenger who stood in his path. "Bones" hasn't lost for a long, long time. Then again, neither has Teixeira (22-2).
Should be a good one.