Glover Teixeira’s dominant win over Anthony Smith was great news for Jon Jones who seems to have an unlimited amount of new challenges waiting to get a crack at the champion.
The story about Anthony Smith’s bloody battle with a deranged home intruder went viral last month, but it couldn’t have been more gruesome than what befell the fighter at the hands of Teixeira in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 29 on Wednesday night.
After a slow start, Teixeira looked great starting in the second round and the win seems to have made a compelling enough case for the fighter to insert his name back onto the shortlist of potential Jon Jones opponents.
Teixeira finished Smith in the fifth round, but it could have happened in the third or fourth just as easily. That’s just how bad a beating Teixeira gave Smith on the evening.
Win Gives Teixeira Momentum for Jones Rematch
Smith, 31, had entered his main event match at Vystar Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, ranked No. 4 at 205 pounds. In facing Teixeira, the 40-year-old Brazilan veteran who lives in Bethel, Maryland, Smith had the chance to score another win over a ranked 205-pound fighter.
Nabbing those kinds of wins has become increasingly important as of late for all the hopeful title challengers in the division. While UFC light heavyweight champion Jones has long been the best light heavyweight in the world, the longtime pound-for-pound king has at least looked human as of late.
In fact, the last truly dominant win Jones scored was when he defeated Smith via unanimous decision at UFC 235 in March 2019.
The perennial champ went 2-0 after that but beat Thiago Santos via split decision at UFC 239 in July 2019 and Dominick Reyes via disputed decision at UFC 247 in February. Those two close calls have given some who follow the sport the impression that Jones’ reign might soon be over.
Teixeira entered the contest ranked No. 8, and the longtime contender was also hoping to secure his own Jones rematch, having also suffered a loss to Jones way back in 2014 at UFC 172.
After Teixeira’s dominant win, he’s sure to move up the rankings next week.
Teixeira’s Huge Win Gives Jones Yet Another Option
Teixeira’s win over Smith on Wednesday night added his name to the growing list of potential next opponents for Jones.
If fans had their say, the name at the top of that potential opponent list would probably be Dominick Reyes, who some believe deserved to be named winner against Jones three months ago.
Reyes is still his No. 1 contender, but Jones said earlier this week that he’d expect to be paid well enough for the immediate rematch to make it worth the risk.
Additionally, Thiago Santos (ranked No. 2) remains interested in another shot at Jones, and Jan Blachowicz (No. 3) wants his first chance at the champ, too.
But now Teixiera is right there among them. He’s won four straight fights and seems likely to be on his way to securing more big opportunities soon.