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UFC Fight Night 158 card: Glover Teixeira vs Nikita Krylov full fight preview

UFC 236 Holloway v Poirier 2 Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight finishers Glover Teixeira and Nikita Krylov will collide this Saturday (Sept. 14, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 158 from inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

With his 40th birthday quickly approaching, Teixeira has been forced to change his approach to combat. He’s no longer the iron chin bruiser who fearlessly stepped into the pocket at every opportunity. Instead, Teixeira has been relying far more on his grappling, which has resulted in three wins in his previous four attempts. On the other hand, 27-year-old Krylov is one of those young fighters with great potential who still limits himself. Despite pretty strong skills in all areas, Krylov does have a tendency to get overwhelmed on the mat — seemingly more to mental errors than anything else. However, “Miner” did pick up the biggest win of his career last time out in a fairly composed performance, so perhaps he’s ready to make the most of his talents.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Glover Teixeira
Record: 29-7
Key Wins: Ryan Bader (UFC 160), Rashad Evans (UFC on FOX 19), Ovince St. Preux (UFC Fight Night 73), Quinton Jackson (UFC on FOX 6), Misha Cirkunov (UFC on FOX 26), Ion Cutelaba (UFC Fight Night 150)
Key Losses: Jon Jones (UFC 172), Alexander Gustafsson (UFC Fight Night 109), Anthony Johnson (UFC 202), Corey Anderson (UFC Fight Night 134)
Keys to Victory: Teixeira may not be in his prime, but he’s the definition of a dangerous, grizzled veteran. His overhand right is still a hard shot, and Teixeira’s combination of strong high-crotch takedown and brutal top game have proven a very effective strategy in turning away younger fighters.

Against Krylov, top position has long been the path to victory. Oddly, Krylov tends to do well when defending straight up takedown attempts, but there has always been a fairly consistent way to force him to the mat: catching his kicks. Krylov loves to fire naked kicks, sometimes from too close.

It’s a recipe for an easy takedown.

Generally, Krylov does well to scramble back up afterward, but Teixeira has proven in the past that he only needs one opportunity to gain top position to end the fight. As such, the Brazilian should pressure forward, force Krylov to fire a kick, and then look to dominate on the mat.

Nikita Krylov

Record: 26-6
Key Wins: Ovince Saint Preux (UFC 236), Walt Harris (UFC on FOX 10), Marcos Rogerio de Lima (UFC Fight Night 69), Emanuel Newton (Fight Nights Global 77), Fabio Maldonado (Fight Nights Global 87)
Key Losses: Jan Blachowicz (UFC Fight Night 136), Misha Cirkunov (UFC 206), Ovince Saint Preux (UFC 171)
Keys to Victory: Krylov is an absolute wild man. The Ukrainian is a Master of Sports in both Kyokushin karate and hand-to-hand combat, and he generally wins fights by overwhelming foes with volume. Krylov throws a pretty ridiculous amount of power shots, and if he doesn’t get clipped or taken down in the process, it’s hard to keep up with him.

As explained above, the threat of getting taken down off a kick is very real for Krylov. If he can avoid that exact scenario, this match up really should lead to a victory for “Miner,” as he possesses the power and durability to trade with Teixeira until the elder Brazilian goes down hard.

It is not necessary for Krylov to completing abandon his kicks; they’re a huge part of his game. However, Krylov can definitely focus on both setting them up with punches more often and choosing better targets. For example, against an Orthodox opponent in Teixeira, a right body kick is largely ineffective and could easily be caught. Inside low kicks, outside calf kicks, high kicks on either side, front kicks up the middle — all can and should be thrown with limited risk of a takedown.

Bottom Line: It’s a Nikita Krylov fight, so there’s roughly zero chance that it goes the distance.

I don’t know exactly how long Teixeira plans to continue fighting, but “Hands of Stone” is an excellent gatekeeper to the top ten. He may not ever make a run at the title again, but Teixeira is a valuable asset in a division without many consistent fighters. Win or lose, Teixeira’s position remains the same.

As for Krylov, his latest victory was an important one, a sign that he could execute his strategy against a high-level Light Heavyweight. That’s just the first step, however, as Krylov must now prove he can do it more than once. “Miner” has grown consistently over the years, so this is another test to see if he’s finally ready for the division’s upper echelon.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 158 fight card this weekend right HERE, starting with the ESPN+“Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, then the main card portion that will stream on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Fight Night 158: “Cowboy vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

At UFC Fight Night 158, Glover Teixeira and Nikita Krylov will throw down in the co-main event. Which man will earn the victory?

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