The Ultimate Fighting Championship will be making a first ever stop in Charm City this Spring with perhaps the biggest fighter in the world on top of the card.
UFC 172 will be held Saturday, April 26th at Baltimore Arena-the promotion announced Friday.
The card will be headlined by a light heavyweight championship fight with Jon “Bones” Jones defending against Brazilian fighter Glover Teixeira-who has won his last 20 fights. Jones has won 10 straight fights, including six defenses of the title he won in March 2011 by defeating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Jones is the younger brother of NFL Defensive Lineman Arthur Jones-who has played his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens including being a part of the Super Bowl XLVII Championship team last year. Jones is a free agent at the end of the season and many analysts believe he will end up signing elsewhere.
Jon Jones will be defending the title for the first time since a somewhat controversial unanimous decision victory over Alexander Gustafson at UFC 165 in September. He is currently the UFC’s #1 ranked pound for pound fighter in the world and is viewed as the company’s top star currently after two consecutive losses and a gruesome injury suffered by Anderson Silva as well as the recent retirement of respected champion Georges St. Pierre.
The event will be the first UFC has held in Baltimore, although the company has held successful events just to the north (Philadelphia) and south (Washington). The Baltimore Arena has hosted nine “Shogun Fights” Mixed Martial Arts Promotions and is a regular stop for pro wrestling company WWE, who held a “Monday Night Raw” event there just this past week and will be returning for a similar televised event April 21. The Arena has also recently hosted preseason events for the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards and will host the CAA Basketball Tournament this March.
Shogun Fights-promoted by local former fighter John Rallo-had originally had their 10th event scheduled for April 26th at the Arena. Rallo-who lead the charge for Mixed Martial Arts to be regulated in the state of Maryland in the late 2000′s-announced Friday his promotion would move their event to June 21st and will remain at the Baltimore Arena.
Jon Jones has been a regular fixture in Baltimore since his brother was drafted by the Ravens, appearing regularly at practices and games during the four years. Jones recently did a full media tour of Charm City, stopping at WNST where he punched “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Automotive” host Glenn Clark in the stomach for charity.
You can listen to Jones’ entire interview with Clark and “The Mobtown Sports Beat” host Thyrl Nelson here.
No other fights have been announced yet for the UFC 172 card, which will air live on Pay-Per-View. The promotion has already created a website for the event where they will announce future details.
Tickets for the event will go on sale February 7th, no details on ticket prices have been announced yet.