Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White praised light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ victory over top challenger Glover Teixeira, calling it the best performance of his career.
Jones, coming off a difficult title defense against Alexander Gustafsson in October 2013, completely dominated Teixeira and cruised to a decision victory – his seventh successful title defense in a row.
“I think it was the best performance of his career,” White said in the post-fight press conference, as quoted by MMA Fighting.
“Jones, I think that if he didn’t prove it in the Gustafsson fight, he definitely proved it in this fight – Jones has a chin,” added White. “He evolves every time he fights, he comes out and puts on a clinic and does new thing.”
White has been impressed with Jones before, noting that the 26-year-old champion has fought several former title holders. But he says he has observed something “different” about Jones leading up to the Teixeira showdown.
“He’s growing up in and outside of the Octagon, and I thought he’s never looked better than he did tonight,” said White.
What makes Jones’ performance so impressive is that he won despite arguably playing into Teixeira’s game plan by opting to fight the Brazilian at close quarters, instead of shooting for takedowns and outwrestling his challenger.
“Jon fought a fight that I didn’t think he’d fight,” said White. “I honestly thought that Glover Teixeira’s game plan would have been to close the distance, get inside, bang him to the body, rough him up, hit him with big punches whenever he could.”
“(I thought) Jones would try to take him down, get that top position, and drop those elbows,” he added. “Not only did he not do that, he stood in the pocket and traded with him. He dropped big elbows on him.”
“He put on an unbelievable performance,” White stressed.
Jones has now won 11 straight fights inside the Octagon. Teixeira, meanwhile, saw his six-year, 20-fight winning streak end.