Two of he hardest hitters in the UFC Light Heavyweight division battled it out last night (Jan. 26, 2013) as top rising contender Glover Teixeira took on Quinton Jackson in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 6 in Chicago, Illinois.
"Rampage" was looking to leave the UFC on a high note as the bout was the final bout of his contract while Teixeira was trying to build towards the biggest win of his lengthy MMA career.
While Jackson did everything he could, it was Teixeira would would fulfill his goals.
Both Jackson and Teixeira showed up ready to slug it out early on, with Jackson moving very quickly, bouncing around on his feet like a lightweight while Teixeira carefully measured his prey, stalking forward and looking to land some heavy shots.
Teixeira tried to make quick work of "Rampage," grabbing a single leg and attaining backmount after just one minute of fighting, but Jackson exploded back to his feet the second Teixeira removed a hook while trying to gain even more dominant position.
From this point on, however, Jackson no longer had that pep in his step, and was much more flat-footed.
Teixeira pressed forward, looking to land with power, throwing head kicks (pictured above) and trying to knock "Ramapge's" head off with a huge left hook.
The left hook of Teixeira really began to do it's damage as the fight wore on, actually hurting Jackson in the opening round, although not even to the point where the former UFC champion was in serious jeopardy.
Jackson tried to fight back, utilizing head movement to try and counter Teixeira's aggression and mixing in good counter shots, but he couldn't make up for the pure volume and power of everything Teixeira threw his way.
Teixeira did a great job of mixing up his attack, constantly putting pressure on Jackson whether it was on the feet or with takedowns. It was amazing to watch him so easily pull off takedowns against "Rampage," a fighter who had been known for his ability to stay on his feet whenever he wanted to. He couldn't do that last night as Teixeira took the bout to the canvas at will, although he couldn't usually do a ton with the advantage in position.
By the third round, Jackson was exhausted, but he willed himself to come out strong in one last ditch effort to try and finish the fight. While he landed a couple good, clean shots, even bloodying up Teixeira's nose, it just wasn't enough to put the powerful Brazilian away.
Teixeira would put a stamp on the fight by not only taking Jackson down twice, but even gaining full mount and dropping some heavy shots, much to the crowd's dismay. (And no, Joe Rogan, they weren't booing the takedowns, they were booing the fact that their favorite fighter was getting taken down and was about to lose the fight).
Teixeira even mixed up his striking attack in the third round, throwing some very good body shots which opened up Jackson's head for some final blows, which helped him walk away with a pretty dominant unanimous decision victory.
For Rampage Jackson, it looked like he took this fight serious, coming in in pretty good physical shape, being more aggressive and even throwing those leg kicks Joe Rogan always complains about him not using enough, but he's reaching a point in his career where his skills are slowing down and diminishing. While he landed a few good shots on Teixeira, he never even came close to knocking the Brazilian out and it didn't bode well for him when he was exhausted after about seven minutes of fighting. The fact that he couldn't prevent even one takedown in this fight was also alarming as takedown defense used to be something "Rampage" was very proud of.
If he wants to continue fighting, even if he admits he can "no longer hang with the best," that's up Jackson, but he likely won't be commanding top dollar after losing three straight at the end of his UFC contract.
For Glover Teixeira, you could tell he wanted to put on a big time performance against one of the division's legends and he stepped up his game with some heavy blows, very well executed takedowns and just downright outworking Jackson in all areas. We haven't seen "Rampage" hurt on his feet often at all in fights, but Teixeira definitely had him wobbled in that first round, which is a testament to the Brazilian's power. One thing to be concerned about is the fact that Teixeira seems to be throwing everything he has into every strike. He doesn't really have a jab, just those power shots. That will work for now, but as he moved up the ladder, it could cause him problems against the more well-rounded and experienced strikers on the roster. While that's a cause for concern, the fact that he took Jackson down with easy does speak well for his overall MMA skillset.
Teixeira deserves another big fight next. Perhaps the winner of Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Rafael Cavalcante when he's off suspension or perhaps even though he's coming off a loss, the fight against Mauricio Rua would be interesting.