UFC 172, light heavies, more

Huang: Obviously Jon Jones, who has not only his UFC light heavyweight title at stake, but that aura of invincibility that surrounds him. It got dinged a bit against Gustafsson. So it'll be something to watch if he really was, as he contends, not fully prepared for Gustafsson and his performance was correspondingly haggard. That's short-selling Gustafsson for sure, but if Jones has trouble with Teixeira, is the division finally catching on to Jones?

4. Who is the greatest light heavyweight of all time?

Teixeira: Chuck Liddell because of his knockout power -- and he tried to finish every fight he was in. I loved his style. And I'm not saying that because he was my training partner. But even today he's still one of the most popular fighters in UFC history, so I can't be the only one who thinks he's the greatest of all time.

Okamoto: I asked former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell this question last week and he, respectfully, does not believe it's Jones yet. I would agree. Jones is on his way to that distinction, but I tend to still give it to Liddell. If Jones beats Teixeira, Gustafsson in a rematch and an undefeated Daniel Cormier (assuming Cormier beats Dan Henderson), then Jones will undoubtedly be the best of all time.

Huang: As much as I would like to give it to Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell or Quinton Jackson, Jones has evolved the sport and consequently waylaid his division in more dominant fashion than the previously mentioned trio. It's a young sport and so the evolution of training, skills and strategy is very different from just eight years ago. Rampage was vastly different in style and even athletic ability when he knocked out Liddell at UFC 71 in 2007. Jones has transcended that generation of fighters.

5. What will the light heavyweight division landscape look like a year from now?

Teixeira: The division will be very exciting. So many great fighters in there -- you will see several of them on Saturday. If this is the future, and I'm champion, I will have a lot of work to defend that belt for the next year.

Okamoto: I don't see Jones losing. He beats Teixeira this weekend and then Gustafsson more decisively in a rematch later this year. There will still be some fights for Jones at 205 pounds at that point, so I don't think he'll be a heavyweight one year from now, but we'll be talking about it.

Huang: Though I like the thought of Gustafsson defeating Jones simply to add some drama to the division, it's very difficult to see Jones losing his grip on the belt. Lost in the melee of Gustafsson actually hurting Jones and going the distance is the fact that it was a unanimous decision. Gustafsson had nothing left at the end. Jones won the fight, but because it was the first time we'd ever seen him take punishment of any sort, it didn't amplify Gustafsson's performance -- rather, it amplified Jones' proximity to losing. Which in the end was not that close.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 23474048. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 23474048. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 23474048.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...