This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 275, we saw one of the greatest title fights in history. Light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira (33-8) was looking to defend his title for the first time as he took on Jiri Prochazka (29-3-1).
Heading into this matchup, many thought that Teixeira needed to get the fight to the ground and Prochazka needed to keep it standing. Well, throughout the first few rounds, we saw exactly why both fighters needed to do that.
Prochazka was doing incredibly well on the feet at UFC 275. He was hitting Teixeira often and clean with big shots. However, Teixeira just kept walking through it. Teixeira was able to get big takedowns and once he got the fight to the ground, he did major damage to Prochazka with big elbows.
The fight was incredibly entertaining and it all came down to the fifth round. To win the title, Prochazka needed a finish. Two judges had him down three rounds to one. However, the round started incredible for the champion.
Teixeira hurt Prochazka bad on the feet and was all over him. Then he made the puzzling decision to try and pull guard on a guillotine and Prochazka slipped right out. Then, with 30 seconds left, Prochazka locked up a choke during a scramble. An exhausted Teixeira was forced to tap and lost his UFC title in the final seconds.
What’s next after UFC 275?
Saturday’s main event was one of the best title fights I’ve ever seen, but that’s hardly a consolation for Glover Teixeira. Teixeira’s career looked like it was dead in the water just a few years ago. Then, he went on a miracle run to capture the UFC title that evaded him throughout his career.
Jiri Prochazka was looked at as the scariest challenger in the division. Through 98% of the fight, Glover Teixeira was winning. 2% of the fight remained, just 30 more seconds and Teixeira would have successfully defended his UFC title.
Such a heartbreaking loss for the former champion. Despite the loss and being 42, Teixeira made it clear that he will fight on. He wants a rematch with Prochazka and that might be on the table, but that might not be the direction the UFC goes in.
Right now, there are three options for Prochazka’s first title defense. A rematch with Teixeira is one. Jan Blachowicz is another option. The third option is the winner of Anthony Smith – Magomed Ankalaev.
For Teixeira, I think the UFC gives him one of the options above, but I’m not certain which one. I could see the immediate rematch happening. I could also see Jan Blachowicz happening. Anthony Smith – Magomed Ankalaev’s winner is also an option.
Here’s what my gut tells me. I think the UFC is going to book Prochazka – Blachowicz for a European PPV. It’s a huge fight for Europe and I think the promotion will capitalize while they have the chance.
That will lead to Teixeira fighting the winner of Smith – Ankalaev in a title eliminator. Perhaps as the co-main event on the Prochazka – Blachowicz card with the winners facing off in early 2023.