Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com
The Octagon will get bloody at UFC 153 when Fabio Maldonado steps into the cage at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Oct. 13, 2012, to battle fellow countrymen Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight showdown.
Glover Teixeira only has one Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fight to his credit. But, the brutal -- albeit brief --beat down he put on Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146 this past May was enough to put all Light Heavyweight contenders on notice and validate his 15-fight win streak outside the Octagon.
After Mauricio Rua passed on the chance to take on the fearsome Brazilian, citing lack of name value, Teixeira was then booked opposite heavy-handed Quinton Jackson, which was supposed to serve as this weekend's (Oct. 13, 2012) UFC 153 event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
However, when the injury bug bit "Rampage" (read about it here), Teixeira once again found himself without an opponent. Rashad Evans recently revealed he was offered a fight against Teixeira, but he, too, turned it down becauset he didn't have enough time to prepare.
Digging deep into its Rolodex, Zuffa matchmakers dialed up Fabio Maldonado, offering him the fight against his fellow countrymen. Fresh off back-to-back losses, Maldonado accepted the challenge and will look to pick up his first win since 2010.
Heading into Saturday's fight, Teixeira will be the odds-on favorite, carrying all of the pre-fight hype and confidence to boot. The Brazilian recently revealed that even though he only has one UFC win to date -- and he isn't yet "qualified" for the opportunity -- he wouldn't turn down a fight with division champion, Jon Jones, and feels he has what it takes to "get that title."
Speaking at today's (Oct. 11, 2012) UFC 153 press conference, Maldonado stated he will make sure the match up between Teixeira versus "Bones" never sees the light of day:
"Well he is what he is. Yes, he is a great fighter. He deserves this kind of attention. He's a tough guy. He won't be fighting Jon Jones because I'm going to stop him before that. I'm going to give him the best I have and a lot of blood. It's going to be 15 minutes of a lot of blood. He'll be fighting the best Fabio Maldonado there's ever been. I think he's going to try to take me to the ground. I don't feel disrespected. I think he's top 10 in the UFC and he deserves to be here before I was but he had the personal issues. I know how tough he is. It's not him. I think other people have disrespected me but not Glover."
Indeed, Maldonado has proven that he isn't afraid to let his hands go and put on a show for the fans -- look no further than his "Fight of the Night" performance against the aforementioned Kingsbury at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 Finale in 2011 for proof.
Desperate for a win and admittedly not afraid to spill a little blood, Maldonado is determined to show that despite being the fourth option, Teixeira will be in for one hell of a fight in their home country.
It's gonna be a bloodbath.