UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will defend his title against Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC 171.
Jones and Teixeira were scheduled to meet at UFC 170 in February, but less than a day after the announcement was made, the champion withdrew from the match. When it was first announced that Jones had pulled out of the fight, White denied that the withdrawal was due to an injury. About a week and a half later, manager Malki Kawa explained that when Jones got into the gym to prepare for the fight, he still felt off from a foot injury he suffered during UFC 165 in September. After successfully completing his sixth title defense, Jones and challenger Alexander Gustafsson were taken to the hospital.
While there was talk of an immediate rematch following the champion’s controversial unanimous decision victory, UFC matchmakers decided to give the 26-year-old a new opponent. Jones personally requested Teixeira, who has gone 5-0 in his UFC career so far.
Kawa said Jones would rest and rehab his foot until the new year before getting back into the gym to train for the upcoming title match.
In October, it was reported that Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira would headline UFC 169, the promotion’s annual Super Bowl weekend card. However, Dana White said the bout was never a done deal, and that the two would face off later in the year.
Teixeira is 22-2 in his 11-year MMA career. He lost his first professional match at WEC 3 in June 2002, and was defeated again by Ed Harman at SF 9: Respect in March 2005. He has gone undefeated since then.
Jones boasts a near flawless 19-1 record in his MMA career. His one loss came during The Ultimate Fighter 10 finale in December 2009, when he was disqualified for illegal elbows.
UFC 171 will be held March 15, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. No other fights have been announced yet.