In an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) division where Jon Jones has cleaned up virtually all the marquee mixed martial arts (MMA) names since winning the 205-pound crown in March 2011, Glover Teixeira, along with Alexander Gustafsson and Gegard Mousasi, is the Potential Next Challenger Who Could Really Use A Big Win™.
That’s because despite a boatload of talent, he’s still relatively little-known. The decision win over Quinton Jackson was a nice step toward changing that, but Teixeira needs some signature stoppages to break out from the pack.
The kiwi is a classic game-bred opponent who’s perfect for the occasion. Willing to exchange, and jump into a war of attrition, Te Huna is the kind of guy who won’t shift gears and play it safe when he’s tactically outmatched ... or unconscious.
Teixeira showed an improved level of comfort in his stand up game against the faded, but still-dangerous "Rampage," willing to stand in the pocket and pick spots nicely, which is a huge addition to his grappling-based game. Te Huna will have to deal with the very real possibility that he could get ground and get a Brazilian jiu-jitsu clinic run on him, which is equal parts taxing and frustrating by a solid top-control specialist like Teixeira. Te Huna also has a tendency to wing shots, which can turn fights in an instant and also get you countered and dropped.
Teixeira looked serviceable and composed against Jackson, which was a critical litmus test for assessing how he’ll fare against better competition. He’s also a true shutdown artist on the ground, with good takedowns and top-position instincts, especially for a Brazilian.
Look for a half-round or so of feeling out, with both trying to assert stand up and exploit openings, before Teixeira’s sharper striking does the latter, forcing a takedown. He’ll ride Te Huna, wear him down and repeat the trick in the second. Using slick positioning and solid punches, he’ll pile up enough damage to get an opening for a submission and end the fight in the second.
Teixeira via submission
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Jason Probst can be reached at twitter.com/jasonprobst