With Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) back in business in a matter of weeks the promotion must now piece together cards from top to bottom. Luckily, UFC has already secured headlining acts for its upcoming events on May 13 and May 16 from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Per a recent report by MMA Junkie, a light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira has been re-booked for the May 13 main event, while a heavyweight clash between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris is expected to headline the May 16 show.
Both matchups were originally expected to take place earlier this month prior to UFC closing its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overeem vs. Harris was planned for UFC Fight Night 172 on April 11 in Portland, Oregon. Smith vs. Teixeira was scheduled for UFC Fight night 173 on April 25 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Smith, 31, is making his return to the Octagon after choking out Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 153 nearly one year ago. “Lionheart” has been busy outside of the cage dealing with home invaders and will be looking to take out Teixeira to wiggle his way back into title contention.
Teixeira, 40, has rebounded nicely after a disappointing 2018 loss to Corey Anderson by winning three in a row over hungry contenders like Nikita Krylov, Ion Cutelaba, and Karl Roberson. The former UFC light heavyweight title challenger isn’t what he used to be, but should still deliver a stiff test for Smith in their upcoming main event.
Overeem, 39, saw his two-fight win streak snapped this past December at the hands of a last-second Jairzinho Rozenstruik knockout. The veteran heavyweight contender is desperately in need of a win if he wants to work his way back into title contention and take one last shot at UFC gold.
Harris, 36, has produced a 3-0 (1 NC) UFC record since losing to Mark Godbeer via DQ back in 2017. “Big Ticket” is one of the more promising up-and-coming contenders at the heavyweight level today, especially given his one-punch knockout power, but a recent personal tragedy may make it more difficult to shine when the spotlight is brightest.
Stick with Mania as the May 13 and May 16 fight cards continue to develop.