For weeks, Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White has been promising fans that his promotion will be the first major sport to return to action during the COVID-19 era. The UFC plans to keep that promise with a phenomenal card on Saturday, May 9th with UFC Fight 249. But they’re not stopping there.
The UFC has three events scheduled within seven days of UFC Fight 249. UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira is the second event in the three punch combo. Anthony Smith headlines the event with Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight bout between two heavy hitters.
In the co-main event, Ben Rothwell takes on former UFC lightweight title contender, Ovince Saint Preux in a heavyweight UFC fight. Keep reading for a preview of the main event and my favorite pick for UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira!
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Teixeira
Wednesday, May 13th – 9:00 PM ET
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
Network: ESPN, ESPN+
Anthony Smith (-165) vs Glover Teixeira (+135)
Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira are two seasoned vets. Combined, the two men have 82 professional fights under their belt. Anthony Smith is 31-14-0 while Teixeira is 30-7. Each man has challenged UFC light heavyweight goat, Jon Jones, for his title. Both came up short.
Lionheart’s most recent fight was in June 2019. He submitted Alexander Gustafsson in the fourth round and earned himself a Performance of the Night bonus.
In addition to Gustafsson, Smith’s most notable wins are over: Volkan Oezdemir, Shogun Rua, and Rashad Evans. Since dropping to light heavyweight, Smith has only lost to Jon Jones.
Glover Teixeira is riding a three-fight win streak. Since April 2019, the heavy-handed vet recorded 1st and 2nd round submission victories over Karl Roberson and Ion Cuelaba respectively. He most recently fought Nikita Krylov to a unanimous victory in September.
Smith and Teixeira have a similar fighting style. Smith (31) is nine year’s Teixeira’s junior and will hold a 2” height advantage.
This will be a rare fight for Teixiera, who is usually the more experienced fighter in the cage. His fight IQ is evident every time he steps into the octagon. While Smith has had a long career, Teixeira has been fighting higher quality opponents for a longer time. Not to take away from his wins, but Evans and Shogun are years removed from their better years.
I’m taking the underdog here. Teixeira has stopped many hype trains in his day.
Notable fights (picks in bold): Ben Rothwell (+120) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (-150), Ricky Simon (-165) vs. Ray Borg (+135), Marvin Vettori (-155) vs. Karl Roberson (+125), Andrei Arlovski (+125) vs. Philipe Lins (-155), Michael Johnson (-110) vs. Thiago Moises (-120).
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