Glover Teixeira and Rashad Evans went to war in the light heavyweight main event of UFC in FOX 19, which took place on Saturday night (April 16, 2016) in Tampa, Florida (full results here). With both fighters already losing to former division champion Jon Jones, there was a lot to prove this weekend in "The Sunshine State."
Teixeira was up to the challenge.
Despite his strong showing on FOX, there's still a long way to go before we can start talking about title shots. That's not usually the case for a fighter ranked in the top five (Tex clocks in at No. 4), but some folks atop the division have a hard time sticking to the script.
Reigning 205-pound titleholder Daniel Cormier was expected to defend his belt against Jones at UFC 197; however, "DC" went down with an injury and "Bones" moved on to fight Ovince Saint Preux for the interim strap next weekend (Sat., April 23, 2016) in Las Vegas, Nevada (more on that here).
That means a title unification bout later this year, boxing out anyone not named Cormier and Jones. No disrespect to "OSP," but we're operating under the assumption that "Bones" prevails in his first fight back after a 12-month disciplinary suspension.
There's a reason that contest has such a lopsided betting line (see it).
In addition, Teixeira is still ranked behind former title contenders Anthony Johnson (No. 2) and Alexander Gustafsson (No. 3), but there is a quick fix for that little roadblock. Especially with "The Mauler" riding the pine while he figures out his next move.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to "Rumble."
Like Teixeira, Johnson came up short in his quest for the 205-pound crown, but rebounded with a handful of big wins. And by "big" I mean the kind of knockouts that have New York legislators thinking twice about their decision to legalize mixed martial arts (MMA).
This town ain't big enough for the two of 'em.
Johnson hasn't competed in over four months as a result of dental surgery, but should be back in action by late spring. That gives the Brazilian plenty of time to recover, though to be honest, he barely broke a sweat in the UFC on FOX 19 headliner and could probably fight tomorrow.
This fight makes sense from a rankings standpoint, both heavy-handed strikers match up well, and what combat sports fan doesn't love a good knockout?
Your move, Joe Silva.