None of my casual MMA fan-friends know who Glover Teixeira is.
They do, however, know who Jon Jones is, whether it’s from word of mouth or they’ve watched a UFC pay-per-view with me that featured the man himself. It was almost the same last July, when we gathered to watch Chris Weidman challenge Anderson Silva. They had no clue who Weidman was.
But this is a different situation. Anderson Silva was 37-years-old last year. Jon Jones is a 26-year-old phenom with a lot of years left in him.
I’m not saying that Glover Teixeira isn’t a formidable challenger — he is, and he deserves this Light Heavyweight title shot (absolutely), as it’s a fact that if he can land one of his powerful punches on Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones, that’ll be it. I don’t see it happening, but I also didn’t see Chris Weidman beating Anderson Silva once last year, let alone twice. However, Teixeira just isn’t largely known to the casual American fans demographic.
Jon Jones is a draw, and it’s definitely because of the sheer disdain a horde of MMA fans have for him, wanting — so desperately — to see a loss that’ll consequently strip him of the title that he’s held for three years now.
Some people say he’s dodged fighters, but I disagree — he’s beaten everyone in his path. He TKO’ed the beloved Shogun Rua to win the Light Heavyweight title, submitted Rampage Jackson, choked out Lyoto Machida, DOMINATED Rashad Evans, submitted Vitor Belfort, TKO’ed Chael Sonnen and won clearly three of five rounds against Alexander Gustafsson (let’s be honest — Gus was heading into the championship rounds up on the scorecards, but he was exhausted and Jones put a clinic on him and nearly finished him in the fourth round).
When and if Jon Jones does lose (anytime soon), what will be elucidated for us all is whether or not the fan-hate — and domination — that makes him a draw will continue to be there, but right now, as long as he keeps winning, the more people whose interest is piqued.
I have no doubt in my mind that ‘Bones’ will defeat Teixeira on Saturday night.
And it will be what’s best for business, much to the chagrin of the detractors.