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UFC on FOX 26 results from last night: Glover Teixeira vs Misha Cirkunov fight recap

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Winnipeg-Cirkunov vs Teixeira Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight bruisers Glover Teixeira and Misha Cirkunov squared off last night (Dec. 16, 2017) at UFC on FOX 26 inside the Bell MTS Center in Winnipeg, Canada.

At 38 years old and with two recent knockout losses, Teixeira was fighting to remain a top contender. His defeats came to the division’s best, but the Brazilian really needed a strong showing to remind fight fans why he’s been highly regarded for nearly a decade.

On the other hand, Cirkunov was looking to bounce back from his first professional loss. Prior to that sudden knockout, Cirkunov was rising quickly and knocking on the door of a title shot, a goal the up-and-comer was still hoping to reach sooner than later.

Most expected Cirkunov to look for the takedown out of the gate, but instead the Canadian transplant maintained his distance with long kicks and straight punches. Teixeira pressured, looking to find a home for his right hand, but Cirkunov began the bout with the far cleaner shots.

To further build upon the unexpected, Teixeira scored the first takedown of the fight after getting lit up by a combination. He immediately advanced into the back mount and threatened with the rear naked choke. The submission looked pretty tight, and Cirkunov responded by fighting hands and trying to roll. Instead, he wound up trapped on his stomach, where Teixeira hipped in hard and dropped heavy shots.

Cirkunov tried to scramble but just couldn’t move, resulting in a first-round stoppage in Teixeira’s favor.

Teixeira hunts for the knockout so heavily that it’s easy to forget that his grappling is excellent. He was getting battered in the kickboxing, which motivated the clinch takedown. Once on top, Teixeira’s jiu-jitsu black belt was on immediate display, as Teixeira controlled his opponent excellently.

It didn’t result in a submission, but Teixiera wound up in such a dominant position that he secured a quick finish anyway.

It’s a big win for the Brazilian, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. “Hands of Stone” really needed to prove that he was still one of the best. He may have looked a bit slow to start the bout, but a first-round knockout over a hot prospect does just that.

Next up for Teixeira should be Jimi Manuwa, a fellow older knockout artist in the top five but not yet in true title contention. Plus, Teixeira has fought everyone else!

Cirkunov looked really damn good on the feet. His outside game was working wonderfully, as his hard kicks and fast punches repeatedly found a home. He was landing nearly everything he threw, which caused him to gain confidence and get more aggressive.

That ultimately turned out to be a mistake, as Teixeira countered that aggression with a takedown. Up until that point, however, Cirkunov was putting a beating on the man expected to be the better striker. It’s a promising sign of development in his kickboxing, but it’s also another case of Cirkunov’s rush forward costing him in a big way.

With more experience in the cage, Cirkunov should do better to stay settled in the cage and avoid leaving that opening. If he can solve that issue, the Russian will find himself in the title mix quickly.

Last night, Glover Teixeira survived some tough moments to stop his opponent in the first round. Who should Teixeira face next?

For complete UFC on FOX 26 “Lawler vs. Dos Anjos” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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