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Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira set for April 26 at UFC 172 in Baltimore

Jon Jones‘ next light heavyweight title defense finally has a date and a home.

Jones (19-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) will meet Glover Teixeira (22-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) at UFC 172 on April 26 at Baltimore Arena in Maryland. The event will be the UFC’s first visit to the city and state.

UFC officials made the announcement on Friday, citing an original report from the Baltimore Sun.

The 14,000-capacity Baltimore Arena has long played host to professional wrestling events. Now it will host the UFC for the first time. Tickets for UFC 172, which will air on pay-per-view and FOX Sports 1, along with expected additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass, go on sale Feb. 7 to the general public.

The fight has had several dates and locations, but now finally has a firm one locked in. The show originally was announced for the UFC 169 main event next month on Super Bowl weekend. Then it moved to UFC 170 in Las Vegas, three weeks later. Then it found a spot at the top of the bill of UFC 171 in March in Dallas. But Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler took that spot, pushing Jones-Teixeira to later in the spring.

A month ago, Jones’ brother, Baltimore Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones, tweeted that he was excited his brother would be fighting in Baltimore on April 26. But that date remained merely a rumor until Friday’s official announcement.

Jones is coming off arguably his toughest test yet in MMA, a five-round decision win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September. The “Fight of the Year” candidate won “Fight of the Night” honors, but it also sent Jones to the hospital, bloodied and battered after a unanimous nod that many observers scored for Gustafsson.

The win over Gustafsson was his sixth straight title defense since winning the 205-pound belt against Mauricio Rua nearly three years ago. Since then, he has defended against Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen and Gustafsson.

Jones’ lone MMA loss remains a controversial disqualification against Matt Hamill in December 2009 for illegal elbows. Most, including UFC President Dana White, consider that loss to come with an asterisk on his resume, at best.

Teixeira gets his title shot on the strength of five straight impressive wins to open his UFC career. The U.S.-based Brazilian, long a protege of UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, will have gone more than nine years since his last loss when he steps in against Jones.

He debuted in the UFC in May 2012 with a submission win over Kyle Kingsbury, then followed that up with a TKO of Fabio Maldonado in his native Brazil. Against “Rampage” Jackson this past January, he outgunned the former champ for a unanimous decision. Then he capped off a perfect 2013 with a “Submission of the Night” bonus win over James Te Huna at UFC 160 and a “Knockout of the Night” win over Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 28 in September to cement his title shot.


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