UFC JAX: MAIN EVENT MADNESS
Anthony Smith vs Glover Teixeira
Main Event Breakdown
By Jason Paglia (@KeggerCEO)
The UFC will put on an event for the 2nd Time in five days in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday night. They didn’t even have to breakdown the Octagon this week because it’s being held at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena which was the site for UFC 249. Dana White did not give us the fight card that we had on Saturday night, but UFC Fight Night 173 is a pretty solid fight card nonetheless.
The main event will feature an aging veteran in Glover Teixeira whose best days are most certainly behind him. That said he has impressed this past year. Teixeira has won 4 of his last 5 fights and is poised to prove the betting public wrong once again. He will square up tonight against Anthony Smith. A fighter that has been a top 15 staple since entering the UFC and more importantly, a fighter that’s in the middle of his prime. Which fighter gets it done tonight? Read the article and find out. Let’s get after it!
Glover Teixeira (30-7)
As a landscaper, Glover Teixeira would watch old boxing tape on Mike Tyson and dream about becoming a combat sports athlete. Once he found some of the older UFC videos in a local video store, he fell In love with the sport of mixed martial arts and began train to become one immediately thereafter.
Teixeira started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing at American Top Team. While there he met John Hackleman and the two became fast friends. Glover decided to make the move to the Pit in California to train under Hackleman full time. Soon Teixeira was fighting on the regional MMA scene. After amassing a (17-2) record for various small promotions Hackleman was impressed. Teixeira had also caught the eye of UFC President Dana White and the UFC signed Teixeira to the main roster.
Since joining the roster in 2012, Teixeira has a (13-5) record in the hallowed ground of the UFC octagon. Now 40 years old, he has become a UFC light heavyweight gatekeeper to the elite of the division. Although he is long in the tooth he has won 4 of his last 5 fights and walks to the cage tonight as the #9 ranked light heavyweight in the world. Can Teixeira cash another ticket as an underdog?
The BEST of Glover Teixeira
STRIKING – Teixeira was incredibly technical in the pocket when he was in his prime. He is still a serviceable striker that can hurt anyone in the cage. However I would be lying if I didn’t say he has lost a step as a striker.
FIGHT IQ– Glover has 37 pro MMA fights. He has seen and done it all. He has been in every position he could be in when it comes to competing in combat sports. That is why he has a ton of knowledge and has become a very smart fighter.
GROUND GAME – The most underrated part of Glover Teixeira’s game is most definitely his grappling. He has a great wrestling base that he learned over time, and he is sneaky good at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He can surprise you and submit to you. He has done it often.
The WORST of Glover Teixeira
AGE – Teixeira is a half–step slower everywhere. He is 40 years old and has a ton of fight miles on him. Unfortunately, Father Time is undefeated.
Anthony Smith (32-14)
Anthony Smith started training to become a combat sports athlete in 2008. He spent five years on the regional scene, fighting in almost every corner of the continental united states. After grinding for regional promotions, Anthony Smith signed with the biggest MMA promotion in the world in 2013.
After falling on his face in the UFC initially, Smith went back to the regional scene. It was a tough time for Smith. He could not support himself as a fighter and was forced to work in the construction field. He kept grinding and continued to work on his craft, and three years later was back in the UFC. The second time he fought for the Ultimate Fighting Championship he was a different fighter. He took advantage of the opportunity that Dana White gave him and won 7 of his first 9 fights.
At UFC 235 Smith was given a chance at immortality. He fought Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship. Smith was not good enough that night, but no fighter has been good enough to beat Jon Jones. However, he fought Jon tougher than most do and that’s worth something. Now he is on the path to another title opportunity. He needs to win a few fights to get back there, but he is capable. It starts tonight with Glover Teixeira. Can Smith make short work of an aging Glover Teixeira?
The BEST of Anthony Smith
RANGE – Anthony Smith uses his range very well when striking. He is not the best at it in the division, but he is good at avoiding the damage before sending the return.
GRAPPLING – Like Glover Teixeira, Anthony Smith has a very underrated ground game. He has 12 submission victories as a professional, and he could tap almost anyone in the light heavyweight division.
POWER – When you get into the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions of the UFC, EVERY FIGHTER HAS THE POWER TO PUT YOU DOWN FOR GOOD. Anthony Smith is no different.
The WORST of Anthony Smith
DEFENSE UNDER PRESSURE– If and when Anthony Smith is hurt with a punch, his defense tends to go by the wayside. It might be tough to hurt him, but if you do and bring heavy pressure he tends to wilt.
WHO WIN THIS FIGHT?
This is not as much of an automatic as I originally thought. I have not had the pulse of Teixeira for about 2 years. He has beaten me time and time again. He has had a bit of a resurgence late in his career. Is he capable of winning this fight? Theoretically, yes. Do I think he wins the fight? No I don’t.
I don’t think Teixeira can keep up with the pace that Smith sets. If Anthony Smith can stay at range and keep his distance while picking him apart from the outside he wins. Teixeira will initially try to hurt him on the feet. If he can’t he will clinch with Smith against the cage and try to take him down. Do I think Smith can keep Teixeira from taking him down repeatedly? Yes, I think he can.
If that’s the case there is only one way I can look in this fight and that is Anthony Smith. I got him at a better price than he is currently at. I grabbed him at (-153). That line is no longer available. He is in the (-190) range now and I think that is expensive. If you had to pin me down on what I would bet at this point, considering the line has moved. It would be over 1.5 Rounds at (-180).
This fight is fully capable of going 7.5 minutes.