Following every UFC and Invicta FC event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira, which took place on April 26 from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore.

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson II

Glover Teixeira was claimed to be the toughest challenger for light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Haters of Jones hyped the Brazilian up to be the first to really beat him, but the champ was as good as ever on Saturday.

“Bones” retained his title with a dominant unanimous decision victory in which he used his vast array of strikes to batter Texeira for five rounds. Jones is without a doubt the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. With seven successful title defenses over some of the biggest names in the UFC, how can he not sit at No. 1?

Now, we play the waiting game for a highly anticipated rematch pitting Jones against Alexander Gustafsson.

Gustafsson has been the only opponent to really test Jones and make him put every drop of blood, sweat and tears into winning. It was the “Fight of the Night” at UFC 165, and quite frankly was the greatest fight of all time. Many fans wanted to see an immediate rematch after the controversial ending. However, Teixeira had already done enough to get his shot at the belt instead.

Gustafsson is coming off a bounce-back win against Jimi Manuwa. There are rumors that the fight with Jones could take place in Gustafsson’s home country of Sweden, which would sell out in a heartbeat. But why not just do it in Las Vegas? It will likely be the biggest fight remaining this year, and it deserves a spot headlining a pay-per-view from the strip in Vegas.

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Ryan Bader-Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante winner

Before Jones defended his title in the main event, a new potential challenger emerged in the evening’s co-headliner.

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson had not stepped inside the UFC Octagon since early 2012. His first UFC stint was marred by troubles on the scale, and he had weighed in at 195 pounds for a middleweight fight. Since his UFC release, Rumble has dedicated himself to making a clean cut. He won six fights outside the promotion before UFC matchmaker Joe Silva gave him another call.

On Saturday, Johnson was paired with Phil Davis, who came in ranked fourth in the division. However, the No. 14-ranked Johnson picked apart Davis for three rounds to win a unanimous decision.

Johnson has always been considered a guy who is capable of being a champion one day, and his performance against Davis raises that argument again. Let’s not get too carried away, though. Even the light heavyweight himself said he’s not rushing anything to reach the top. It was his first UFC win since 2011, so let’s not push him straight to the top just yet.

Rumble should work his way up the ladder, beginning with a fight against the winner of the upcoming contest between Ryan Bader and Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, who meet on June 14 at UFC 174. Both men are ranked in the top 12 of the division, and they make for good fights against Johnson. If Johnson can topple either Bader or Cavalcante, then we can entertain talk of Johnson as a true threat.

Luke Rockhold vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza II

You want unique? Luke Rockhold will give it to you.

The former Strikeforce middleweight champion make quick work of Tim Boetsch on the main card by pulling off a move you certainly don’t see every day. Rockhold wrapped his legs around the neck of his opponent, and eventually attacked the arm of Boetsch to force a tap due to what was called an inverted triangle-kimura.

Rockhold hit a speed bump when he fell to Vitor Belfort in the worst possible way. But, with two finishes in under three minutes for his last two appearances, it’s safe to say Rockhold is one win away from a title shot. To get it, he’ll have to get past a former opponent.

Even though they fought once before for the Strikeforce title in 2011, the UFC should pair Rockhold with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a rematch. Since losing to Rockhold, Jacare has gone 6-0 to become one of the most feared fighters in the middleweight division.

It would be a huge fight for the UFC, for not only the rematch aspect, but also because this is a fight that could headline a Fox or Fox Sports 1 show in a five-round duel. It could also be placed as a co-main event for a pay-per-view. Regardless of its positioning, fans will watch.

Jim Miller vs. Josh Thomson

Jim Miller never ceases to put on an entertaining fight. The 30-year-old added the 13th submission victory to his career on Saturday when he locked up a guillotine choke on Yancy Medeiros, who was an injury replacement for Bobby Green.

You have to like what Miller did after the fight as well. Having been with the UFC since 2008, the lightweight has fought many of the top 155-pound fighters. So, why not just call out everyone in the rankings above him that hasn’t stepped in the cage with him yet?

Yes, he’s talking to you, T.J. Grant, Josh Thomson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Donald Cerrone and Rafael dos Anjos.

I’ll put my money on Miller fighting one of the names listed above. Which one? Obviously, all of the match-ups sound intriguing, but let’s single out Josh Thomson as his next opponent.

One reason for this choice has to do with my previous suggestion that paired Nurmagomedov and Cerrone. The other reason is because having Miller fight Thomson makes a lot of sense. Although he is coming off a loss to Benson Henderson, he’s not moving from the top of the list. Thomson is flirting with the idea of retirement, but if he does decide to compete again, then Miller is waiting.

It makes for an exciting striker vs. grappler bout where the winner moves another notch closer in waiting for Anthony Pettis or Gilbert Melendez to return.

Max Holloway vs. Rony Jason-Robbie Peralta

Max Holloway kicked the night off in proper fashion. “Blessed” submitted Andre Fili in the third round with a guillotine choke, therefore preventing the judges from weighing in with scores on what would have likely been a close decision.

Holloway is now at .500 in his last four fights, and he has a two-fight winning streak now in his grasp. It’s hard to believe the 22-year-old has already had eight fights in the UFC. Does this mean he is a veteran? That just doesn’t sound right.

A fight against the winner of the May 31 showdown between Rony Jason and Robbie Peralta should be next on Holloway’s agenda. Jason is coming off an impressive TKO stoppage of Steven Siler, and Peralta is riding some momentum after knocking out Estevan Payan at UFC 168. The fighter who emerges with the victory in that battle will be on a two-fight winning streak, same as Holloway.

The featherweight division is filled with rising stars, and these are just a handful of the names climbing the ranks.

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.