Two of the most powerful strikers in the light heavyweight division will clash this Saturday night (May 25, 2013) as Glover Teixeira takes on James Te Huna on the UFC 160 main card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Record: 20-2 overall, 3-0 in the UFC
Key Wins: Quinton Jackson (UFC on Fox 6), Fabio Maldonado (UFC 153), Kyle Kingsbury (UFC 146)
Key Losses: none
How he got here: Glover Teixeira didn't get off to the best start in his MMA career, going 2-2 in his first four fights, but he's sure as hell stepped up his game since then.
Teixeira had a strong 3-0 run in the WEC which included a knockout of Sokoudjou, but visa issues prevented his return to compete in the United States for a considerable length of time. Instead, the powerful light heavyweight battled in Brazil and even in Australia, racking up win after win and finishing all but one of his opponents.
In 2011, he scored first round victories over UFC veterans Marvin Eastman and Ricco Rodriguez before his issues were finally cleared up and he was allowed to sign in the UFC.
He made his UFC debut last May against Kyle Kingsbury finishing him in the first round and his second fight against Fabio Maldonado was absolutely devastating, landing some of the heaviest stand-up strikes and ground and pound ever seen inside the Octagon.
He took a huge leap up in competition when he battled former champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in his last bout and managed to walk away with a unanimous decision victory after taking Jackson's best shot. Now, he's looking to continue his run up the light heavyweight ladder with a bout against Te Huna.
How he gets it done: Teixeira is incredibly dangerous with not only his pure punching power but he also possesses solid head kicks, knees and a surprisingly potent ground game.
While Teixeira can likely land just as heavy a shot as the equally powerful Te Huna, is it really worth the risk to step into the pocket and trade blow for blow with the New Zealander?
Expect to see Teixeira to stand briefly, but only long enough to get Te Huna to let his guard down. Te Huna's biggest weakness has always been his ground game as he's been submitted in four of his five career losses including his lone UFC defeat to Alexander Gustafsson.
Look for Teixeira to try to get inside and either work for a power takedown or perhaps a trip takedown in the clinch. If he can get Te Huna on his back, he'll be well on his way to securing a victory whether it's with ground and pound or with his jiu-jitsu.
James Te Huna
Record: 16-5 overall, 5-1 in the UFC
Key Wins: Ryan Jimmo (UFC on Fuel TV 7), Igor Pokrajac (UFC 110), Joey Beltran (UFC on Fuel TV 4)
Key Losses: Alexander Gustafsson (UFC 127), Hector Lombard (Warriors Realm 8)
How he got here: James Te-Huna is a New Zealand native so obviously, he got his start on the Australian circuit. The powerful striker had mixed results early on in his career but one thing was almost always guaranteed, a ferocious finish.
In 19 career fights, he's only ever gone to decision twice. Te-Huna eventually worked his way up the local circuit to a CFC light heavyweight Grand Prix where he knocked out everyone he faced including current UFC light heavyweight Anthony Perosh.
The victory earned the New Zealander a UFC invite and he would make the most of his opportunity, knockout out Igor Pokrajac in the third round of his debut. After a setback against Alexander Gustafsson in which he was submitted via rear naked choke, Te-Huna has laid waste to his opposition since.
He thrashed Ricardo Romero in just 47 seconds and followed that up by blasting Aaron Rosa via TKO in his backyard of Sydney, Australia earlier this year. He was finally given a spotlight in his last bout and punished Joey Beltran over the course of three rounds, earning a decision victory against the hard-headed foe.
He pasted a big test against Ryan Jimmo in his last bout, surviving early trouble to come back and take the Canadian down, utilizing ground and pound and improving wrestling to stay on top and secure a decision victory. Now, he's trying to take out his second straight top light heavyweight prospect in Teixeira.
How he gets it done: This is obvious. Te-Huna is not the most skilled on the ground, or even in the clinch but what he does possess is absolute dynamite in his fists.
Expect to see him come forward and try to blast Teixeira in the temple or the jaw with heavy hooks and straight punches. If Teixeira doesn't keep his hands up, he's going to be in for a world of hurt and could find himself unconscious.
Te Huna can't be too reckless in there as Teixeira is just as powerful as he is and can end his night if he doesn't protect himself while wading in with power. That being said, he needs to turn up the aggression a notch if he wants to land that big shot because Teixeira can be hurt as evidenced by a few brief moments against Jackson and Maldonado and Te Huna is more than powerful and dangerous enough to follow up.
Who will come out on top at UFC 160? Tell us your predictions in the comments below!.