It is official, Glover Teixeira is the new number on contender for the light-heavyweight title. Of course, that position did not come without a scare, and that scare came out of the unlikeliest of places, Ryan Bader’s hands. Bader was able to connect with Teixeira’s chin, and he had the Brazilian nearly on the ropes and out of the fight. That is when one of the greatest comebacks happened with Teixeira stepping forward and landed two clean shots that effectively ended the fight. This is the first time that Teixeira has shown weakness in the Octagon, and it seems that people are doubting him since he will have a huge reach deficit going into a title fight with Alexander Gustafsson or Jon Jones.
The truth is that Teixeira is probably one of the most well rounded fighters at light-heavyweight outside of the champion. He has not lost in over eight years, and has twenty straight wins with only two decision in that span, one of which came to former champion Rampage Jackson who Jones could not finish in three rounds. Teixeira also has a 2nd degree black belt which lead to submissions over in six wins, he has extreme knockout power with 13 knockout finishes, and he has excellent wrestling. Gustafsson, who many believe can beat Jones, has less than ten knockouts, an okay submission game, and a subpar wrestling game. That is not good considering Jones has one of the highest takedown rates and the best takedown defense. So, maybe people should consider Teixeira’s come from a behind win as a show of heart and fight IQ.
In the co-main event, Ronaldo Souza showed he is a true MMA fighter, and he has skills far beyond his amazing BJJ. In nearly 40 fights, Yushin Okami has only been knocked out four times. One came into the first ten fights of his career, another in a moment of spontaneity from Tim Boestch, and of course to Anderson Silva. None of them could knock him out in under three minutes of a fight, but former BJJ superstar Souza could. In his last four fights, Souza has finished all of the fights in the first round two by submission and two by authentic knockouts. Those are some big problems for Chris Weidman if he can retain the title.