Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, April 25, 2014 | 3 p.m.
The environment at the UFC 172 weigh-in returned Jon Jones to his preferred element.
Perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world’s biggest shortcoming is his undying preoccupation with acceptance. Even a single detractor troubles Jones.
It’s easy to imagine, then, how much the last couple weigh-ins flustered the light heavyweight champion, as Jones primarily received boos at the final event before his title defenses. The reception Friday at the Baltimore Arena, however, was reminiscent of the days when fans viewed Jones as a young phenom with limitless potential, not a conceited champion with an image problem.
The crowd burst into cheers as soon as he emerged from behind the curtain flanked by his brothers, former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones and New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, to tip the scale. The ovation continued as he weighed in at the limit of 205 pounds to make tomorrow night’s pay-per-view main event against Glover Teixeira (205) official.
“Shout out to the black and purple,” Jon played to the crowd. “Those Ravens in Baltimore…Tomorrow night, I’m going for another world title, and I just appreciate all you guys’ support. I’m going to do my best, and I’m predicting a victory.”
Part of the reason the UFC chose Charm City to hold its biggest star’s next fight were the cross-promotional opportunities. The plan seems to have paid dividends.
Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, hosted the UFC 172 press conference Thursday, and women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will throw out the first pitch in this evening’s game against the Kansas City Royals.
More importantly, the UFC has played off of Jon’s close relationship with Arthur, who helped the Ravens win their second Super Bowl in 2013, to build the event locally. Arthur, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason during the NFL's free agency period, may have been the only person at the weigh-in to get a louder response than Jon when he pumped up his younger brother with slaps to the face and danced his way to the stage.
Jon reveled in the energy, smiling before he met Teixeira for a staredown that featured one of his old staples. Jon stood sideways to his challenger at first and resisted making eye contact.
“He’s a great fighter,” Teixeira said in his final comments. “He does a lot of things. He’s a great champion, and I’m going to take the belt away from him tomorrow.”
The fighters turned their backs to each other without as much as a handshake after breaking their faceoff pose. The light heavyweights in the co-main event, Phil Davis (205.5) and Anthony Johnson (205), embraced after their staredown.
Johnson, who missed weight several times during his first UFC stint, got a facetious roar upon coming in at the limit. All the fighters made weight and kept the proceedings civil, leaving fans without much to get raucous over — until Jones entered.
Check below for full results from the UFC 172 weigh-in.
Light heavyweight championship bout: Jon Jones (205) vs. Glover Teixeira (205)
Light heavyweight bout: Phil Davis (205.5) vs. Anthony Johnson (205)
Middleweight bout: Luke Rockhold (185.5) vs. Tim Boetsch (185.5)
Lightweight bout: Jim Miller (155) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155.5)
Featherweight bout: Max Holloway (145) vs. Andre Fili (145)
Flyweight bout: Joseph Benavidez (125.5) vs. Tim Elliot (125.5)
Lightweight bout: Takanori Gomi (155.5) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (155.5)
Women’s bantamweight bout: Jessamyn Duke (135.5) vs. Bethe Correia (135)
Lightweight bout: Danny Castillo (156) vs. Charlie Brenneman (155.5)
Bantamweight bout: Chris Beal (135) vs. Patrick Williams (135)