AND…STILL UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon “Bones” Jones, a phrase uttered for the 7th consecutive time in the Octagon by UFC announcer Bruce Buffer. As reigning and defending champion Jon Jones pitched a shutout over 5 rounds to defeat tough opponent Glover Teixeira via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)–snapping his 20-fight win streak in the process and handing Glover his first loss in 8 years.
An overjoyed Jon Jones arrived at the post-fight press conference ready to celebrate with a huge smile on his face throughout, and the word that came up the most during his responses to the media was ‘happy’.
First praising his opponent Glover Teixeira, Jones was glad to have fought him and had nothing but good things to say about the challenger.
“Hats off to Glover, he definitely fought his heart out and to the last second. I think his cardio may have given out on him a little bit. He told me backstage that his rib was hurt, his left side and his right arm was hurt from an elbow crank that I did. The fact that he fought through all the injuries that he had gotten through the fight. That guy is a straight beast, he has the heart of a champion for sure. I just respect him so much, and I’m glad to have fought him.”
According to FightMetric, Jones landed 158 of 256 total strikes for an accuracy of 61%. And out-striking the challenger 158 to 65 in total strikes. The champ seemed to get stronger and stronger as the fight went on, and the challenger continued to fade—a part of the fight that Jones takes a lot of pride in, when going to the championship rounds.
“I felt as if I had the better cardio. I have a lot of pride in the 4th round and the 5th round, the championship rounds. Everything I do I try to work harder to go to the championship rounds. I feel like I owe it to the performance to give those last ounces of energy and that’s what I was trying to do.”
UFC President Dana White was thoroughly impressed with the champion, saying “I think it was the best performance of his [Jones'] career.”
But Jones didn’t quite feel the same way as Dana, critiquing his performance at the end.
“I felt as if I got sloppy towards the end. I started getting booed for running,” Jones said. “Guys like Vladimir Matyushenko, that was a fast fight, the Chael Sonnen fight, that was a really fast fight. I feel like those are my best performances as far as a clean performance.”
Up until his last fight against Alexander Gustafsson, the champion had strung together a streak of fights where he just dominated his opponent throughout, with this performance against Glover Teixeira, he once again feels that same domination.
“I definitely feel as if it gets me back on that wave of domination, and I’m happy to have that back,” said Jones.
The champ was the crowd favourite in Baltimore, Maryland at UFC 172, being cheered instead of booed for the first time in a very long time, something Jones relished during the moment. Before walking out, Jones performed Baltimore Ravens’ legend, Ray Lewis’s dance backstage, leading to a positive crowd reaction, in addition to his older brother Arthur Jones being a former Raven himself, helped sway the crowd to his favor.
“It was great to have the crowd on my side again. It’s been a long time since I’ve had cheers. And I figured it would be that way. So I was like let me really embrace this and let me really give this audience some entertainment. I figured Ray Lewis would be there, and a lot of Ravens would be there, so I was just playing it up.”
“I practiced that dance all day today, and aced it I hear. Ray [Lewis] was happy, I’m happy,” said Jones of the dance.
A few moments later Jon Jones and another victor tonight, Luke Rockhold proceeded to break into a short rendition of Pharrell’s song ‘Happy’.
Next up for the champion will be a rematch against the toughest opponent he’s faced to date in Alexander Gustafsson. The two fought in the 2013 fight of the year at UFC 165, as Jones narrowly won the split decision to retain his title. However Jones did not want to discuss any topics regarding the new #1 contender at this time post-fight.
“I don’t really want to talk about that kid at all,” Jones said. “I’m not going to talk about him at all, I’m having a good time, I just won a fight.”