UFC 172: "Jones vs. Teixeira" turned out to be a solid card. It wasn't "probably the most stacked card ever done," but after having to push through an abundance of mediocre events as of late, it left us satisfied when it was all said and done.
The main event saw Jon Jones defend his light heavyweight title for the seventh time, most recently against Glover Teixeira, beating him up over the course of five rounds (highlights here).
The champion brutalized the Brazilian, giving him no space to breathe and smothered him at his own game. He pummeled him with dirty boxing, tormented him in the clinch and sent his mouthpiece flying across the cage on several occasions.
In the co-main event, Anthony Johnson showed the world he's not an irresponsible fighter who fluctuates from different weight classes anymore and got the job done against Phil Davis in a one-sided affair (highlights here).
We get to all the juicy stuff below, with our "Great Expectations," fresh off the stands:
What We Expected: For Jones to win impressively and score a finish, even though the promotion was marketing Teixeira like he was the stiffest challenge in the champion's entire career.
What We Learned: Even though "Jonny Bones" didn't secure the finish, his win over the slugger was a calculated beatdown that you had no choice but to admire.
It's almost as if the Rochester-born athlete didn't have to look for a way to end the fight. By the third round, you had this gut feeling that the Greg Jackson-trained combatant was simply going to terrorize his counterpart to showcase his durability, endurance and finesse.
There are fighters in this world who can do that, yet who really risks it?
Contrary to what Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tells you who its biggest star is and who the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is, this workhorse is by far the biggest star in the sport and he's the best fighter on the planet right now. Pound-for-pound rankings aren't everyone's forte, since Cain Velasquez could more or less kill guys like Jose Aldo or Renan Barao if they fought, but you get my drift.
"Bones" is unstoppable right now and if you look at the light heavyweights he's toppled, how could he not be the best in the world?
Surely, the future challenges will be tough. The rematch against Alexander Gustafsson is going to be fun to watch and depending on what happens with Daniel Cormier, Dan Henderson and even Johnson, he's still got guys breathing down his neck.
Although, he's always had foes clawing at him from a distance and once they're put in front of him, he strikes them down worse than Professor Xavier did to Magneto in their chess game. That doesn't mean he's unbeatable, yet somebody needs to prove that.
What We Expected: For the returning Johnson to look good, but not great, and for Davis to get the better of him by using his wrestling pedigree.
What We Learned: I love these types of outcomes, because in all honesty, nobody predicted "Rumble" would look so great and completely nullify anything "Mr. Wonderful" threw at him.
The Blackzilian product had a few favorable opponents in his time away from the organization, although he still beat bigger guys like Andrei Arlovski and Mike Kyle. For him to come back and beat a top-ranked light heavyweight is outstanding for his career and he completely leapfrogs in front of a number of talents at 205 pounds.
The only problem I have with that, is I'm reluctant to believe the Georgia-born fighter is ready for title contention -- or even a title eliminator bout. Davis is good, but if you stop his takedowns and get the better of him on the feet, what do you think will happen?
Dana White believes it's possible for "Rumble" to face someone like Cormier in the post-fight presser, although let's give Johnson some time to settle and get accustomed to being back home. He wasn't a contender before this fight, so let's see what he can do against another solid 205-pounder and then let's assess his future in the title picture.
That's a wrap.
For complete UFC 172: "Jones vs. Teixeira" fight coverage, including video highlights, post-fight recaps and more, click here.