Sports Interaction opened Jones listed at -442 with Teixeira as a +306 underdog, but that line now has Jones as a -556 favorite. Teixeira isn’t worried about what the odds say.
“There was no way I was going to be the betting favorite,” Teixeira told MMAjunkie. “In my own head, and that of my trainer’s, I am the favorite. But it’s no surprise that I’m not in the eyes of the fans.”
Plus, Jones is coming off what was easily the toughest fight of his 19-1 MMA career when he outlasted Alexander Gustafsson in an epic battle back at UFC 165. That fight left fans yearning for a rematch and had Jones on the shelf with a variety of injuries despite being on the right end of the decision. Instead Jones made it known he wanted to fight Teixeira and was forced to pull out of their first scheduled bout at UFC 170. Jones also caught heat for refusing to fight Chael Sonnen back in UFC 151 when Dan Henderson was forced to pull out with injury.
Now, Jones is finally getting back in the mix and it’s been a long time coming for Teixeira. The Brazilian was forced to take a three-year hiatus from the UFC to deal with visa issues, but his pedigree is well known around the octagon. He is 22-2 lifetime in MMA and hasn’t lost a fight since 2012. Teixeira also has headline wins of the likes of Ryan Bader, James Te Huna, and Rampage Jackson.
“I think [Glover] either hurts [Jones] with a punch and he shoots and submits him, or knocks him out,” Chuck Liddell said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I’m not sure which one, but it’s one of those things. Doesn’t get past [round] three.”
That’s certainly possible, but you have to wonder how the decision against Gustafsson will impact Jones. In this case, it might be better for the champ to take some time off to get his head right before jumping into the octagon again.
Teixeira is certainly a game opponent. He has the knockout power to put Jones away, but we’ve seen Bones take care of a lot of people we’ve said the same thing before. Jones has been through a war now and he’ll be much better off if he uses his reach to keep Teixeira away from him Saturday.
The other thing to keep in mind is Teixeira hasn’t fought in the championship rounds before. If Jones can get this match to the fourth or fifth round, he has a huge advantage.
I’m not betting against the champ.