RESULTS | UFC Fight Night – Teixeira reenters title frame after brutal main event

GLOVER TEIXEIRA may have already tipped the ripe age of 40, but the Brazilian keeps on knocking down the door of UFC championship contention. The number eight ranked light heavyweight dismantled fellow former title challenger Anthony Smith in a gruelling headline bout, earning performance of the night honours and his fourth-consecutive victory.

Earlier, Ben Rothwell edged out Ovince Saint Preux in the latter’s heavyweight debut, while the likes of Drew Dober and Ricky Simon took full advantage of their main card slots with wins to put them within reach of the rankings among their respective divisions. Check out all the results from top to bottom in the first of two UFC events marked for this week, by way of Jacksonville, Florida.

FOTN: Azure vs. Kelleher
POTN: Drew Dober, Glover Teixeira




Glover Teixeira [8] def. Anthony Smith [4] | TKO (ground and pound) 1:04 Rd 5

Glover’s fifth round finish of Smith came at least five minutes too late according to many on social media, who were adamant Lionheart’s corner or referee Jason Herzog should have intervened after two rounds which looked like certain 10-8’s to Teixeira.

But the stoppage mercifully arrived as Teixeira rained down ground and pound strikes from mount, taking his UFC light heavyweight win tally to 11 – the most ever. To Smith’s credit, he fully lived up to his moniker with a valiant performance despite having teeth knocked out, and his nose and orbital bone broken. He responded every time the referee asked for action, so deserved to stay in the fight.

The number four ranked contender also made the better start, getting on the front foot with some beautiful 1-2 combinations and crisp, long jabs. He would maintain the distance well and work the low kick while Teixeira looked to get into boxing range, but the pace of the bout soon played into the Brazilian’s favour.

Smith’s last real moment of success came as he shut Glover’s left eye with a straight punch, but would end up being backed up by hooks in response and clocked by a high kick as the tide turned in Round 2. A beautiful, looping left hand over the guard would drop Smith in the third, but he managed to ride out the storm as Teixeira took his back and landed some ground and pound.

Teixeira’s hammer fists landed heavily, making for brutal viewing as he dominated his opponent. The doctor and referee had a good look at Smith after Rounds 3 and 4 but allowed him to continue, even with one of his teeth now in the pocket of Herzog.

Teixeira’s success on the feet made the decision to constantly engage on the ground seem bizarre, but it would be where he managed to finish the fight. It came after more punishment on the feet, and Smith’s posture amid each blow to the face told of his deterioration.

Ben Rothwell def. Ovince Saint Preux | Decision (split) 28-29, 29-28, 29-28

Saint Preux’s heavyweight debut ended in defeat at the hands of the ‘King of Kenosha’, unable to form a response to his opponent’s pressure and smothering forward movement. Rothwell’s 38th win would be just his fourth without a finish, but one very nearly came at his expense.

The enigmatic American immediately pushed forward and landed some nice blows with his quick hands as OSP looked to avoid the cut-offs and maintain distance with his kicks. A high kick got him in trouble early though, giving him a first glimpse of Rothwell’s tiring weight against the fence.

While OSP’s corner yearned for more activity, there was little their fighter could do in the face of Rothwell’s stalking movement. The former light heavyweight was constantly trapped and forced to engage in clinches, where Rothwell drove knees up the middle and continued to hunt. A late counter left dropped Rothwell in the last minute of the second round, but the bell would prove timely.

Requiring a finish, Saint Preux would have left frustrated given his inability to break free, made to truly get on his bike and punch out of the clinches. The pace was continually pushed by Rothwell, but he was again rocked near the bell as the two let their hands go. A relentless Rothwell picked up his second straight win though as he looks to reenter the heavyweight rankings.

Drew Dober def. Alexander Hernandez [15] | TKO (punches) 4:25 Rd 2

Hernandez and Dober fought out an entertaining bout, as the latter ensured a third round would not be needed with a terrific performance on the feet. Hernandez, the 15th ranked lightweight arguably made the better start; popping in and out of range as Dober looked to box, while also securing a takedown in Round 1.

But Dober enforced his will on the contest despite Hernandez’s success on the level changes, cracking his opponent with great shots as he worked into range. He would drop Hernandez momentarily with a left hand, only for Hernandez to land a timely takedown. In a case of deja vu, big hooks from Dober again dropped Hernandez as he landed another takedown.

He was clearly compromised though as Dober quickly popped back up, landed two more vicious left hooks and gave Herb Dean no choice by to end the bout standing. In adjusting to Hernandez’s wrestling and movement, Dober has surely earned himself a spot in the 155-pound rankings.

Ricky Simon def. Ray Borg | Decision (split) 28-29, 29-28, 29-28

Simon broke back onto the winners list with a tight split decision victory over Borg, snapping his opponent’s two-fight win streak. The athletic and strong Simon looked the bigger man against a former 125-pounder, and used the size advantage to land a range of takedowns throughout.

Both men maintained a good pace across the three rounds, with Simon constantly giving Borg something to think about with his level changes, while Borg had some nice moments with his crisp technique on the feet and some heavy shots. Ultimately, he was unable to get his dynamic grappling game going in the face of Simon’s top pressure, but still looks a decent prospect at 135 pounds.

Andrei Arlovski def. Philipe Lins | Decision (unanimous) 30-27, 30-27, 29-28

Former UFC heavyweight champion Arlovski just keeps getting it done, taking out another promising newcomer via unanimous decision for his 18th UFC win in his 50th professional fight. Lins, on promotional debut, made a solid start with his forward movement, landing some swift boxing combos up top once he breached the range.

But Arlovski, who switched to southpaw to get his kicking game going, would have success in the stance with a greater variety of strikes as he managed to maintain the distance and keep away from those fiery boxing engagements. Sticking to the gameplan constricted by ATT, Arlovski showed that old dogs can indeed be taught new tricks.

Thiago Moises def. Michael Johnson | Submission (heel hook) 0:25 Rd 2

Football fans often waffle about games of two halves, but it there was ever a fight of two halves, this was it. Johnson looked sensational in Round 1 as he sprawled and brawled, getting those fast hands going on the inside while resisting Moises’ grappling game.

But the tide would soon shift upon the second round of action, as Moises took on his corner’s advice and swooped in for a takedown at the off, holding on to a single leg and swiftly catching a leg lock, turning to finish via heel hook despite Johnson responding well on the turn.

It took a couple of taps to yield the break in action, so we hope Johnson’s knee is still in tact.


Sijara Eubanks def. Sarah Moras | Decision (unanimous) 30-27, 30-27, 30-26

Eubanks notched her first win upon returning to bantamweight, putting on a show against Moras after a tight first round. ‘Sarj’ was ruthless in the close quarter engagements, grappling well and even notching a 10-8 score according to one judge.

Eubanks got her opponent’s attention early with some cracking right hands and a glancing high kick to mark her intentions. Some good work from Moras in the clinch during Round 2 was undone as she looked to land a takedown late, being downed herself as Eubanks got to work on top. The momentum carried into Round 3, as Eubanks cut Moras up early before taking it back to the mat to secure the well-earned dub.

Omar Morales def. Gabriel Benitez | Decision (unanimous) 30-27, 29-28, 29-28  

Contender Series alum Morales remained undefeated with an impressive win over Benitez in fight which ended up emulating a caged muay thai bout. Benitez is known for his kicks and while he got some going to the body, had most of them checked down low to have his bone visible through a nasty gash by the end of the bout.

It was a tight and technical striking battle, but Morales rightly took home the points as he truly got into his groove after Round 1. He gave back everything he got, proving a stubborn and durable opponent.

Brian Kelleher def. Hunter Azure | KO (punches) 3:38 Rd 2

Kelleher again went boom with another vicious KO victory in what was a grinding come-from-behind effort. Fighting up a weight division against a cardio machine, Kelleher was up against it and felt the full brunt of Azure’s heavy combos up top and to the body in Round 1.

But true to the form of the night overall, Kelleher found his one-punch threat as both men continued to let go on the feet. He sensed the counter left was working, and loaded up on one to land it flush and drop Azure. The follow-up hammer fist was reminiscent of Dan Henderson on Mike Bisping, bringing a sure end to the fight.

Chase Sherman def. Ike Villanueva | TKO (elbow and punches) 0:50 Rd 2

Sherman proved he is not done within the UFC promotion, viciously accounting for newcomer Villanueva on short notice. In his return bout after being dropped by the organisation, the American looked focussed from the start with his sharp stand-up proving money.

Villanueva, a former middleweight, did well to counter Sherman’s kicks early and land some nice flurries on the way in, but Sherman adjusted to back up the debutant come Round 2 and end it all with a vicious elbow and punches. He’s back, hopefully in a big way.

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