UFC Vegas 13 Preview: Thiago Santos – Glover Teixeira

Tomorrow night, the UFC returns for their thirteenth live event at the APEX. In the main event of the evening, Thiago Santos (21-7) will take on Glover Teixeira (31-7) in a battle of two top ranked light heavyweight contenders.

Originally, this fight was looked at as a title eliminator. After Jan Blachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 253, this winner of this fight was supposed to get the title shot. Originally, this fight was supposed to take place in August.

Then it was supposed to take place in early October on Fight Island. However, a battle with COVID-19 for both men pushed the fight back twice. That’s how we landed on the two headlining the UFC Vegas 13 card.

However, due to the fight being pushed back a few times, Blachowicz has found himself a new opponent. The UFC is planning on booking Blachowicz against middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. Thus, the winner of tomorrow night, will have to wait their turn.

The turn of events makes you feel really bad for both men. Neither one of them could control getting sick, but because of the delays, a sexier fight for the UFC has appeared. While tomorrow’s fight is still big, the significance has gone down a little for the UFC.

UFC Vegas 13 Prediction

I have been very excited about this fight for a while. If you would have asked me who I thought was going to win about a year ago, I would have told you that Santos would win easily. Santos looked extremely good in his title shot against Jon Jones.

He fought that fight essentially on one leg after tearing his knee apart. Teixeira is 41 years old, but somehow he’s turned his career around. Four straight victories for the former title challenger have put him right back in the UFC‘s title picture.

In my opinion, Teixeira needs to try to grapple tomorrow night. He can hold his own on his feet, but a fully healthy Thiago Santos is a tough guy to deal with when it comes to striking. I’m expecting Teixeira to try to use his wrestling to get the fight to the ground.

However, Santos has proven that he’s not the easiest person in the world to get to the ground. I think Santos is going to be able to keep this one standing, and I think he’s going to make a big statement tomorrow night about why he should be the next UFC title challenger.

Prediction: Thiago Santos by TKO – Round 3

UFC books Jeremy Stephens – Arnold Allen

Jeremy Stephens

The UFC is finalizing a tremendous featherweight contest for their card on November 7th. First reported by MMA Junkie, the promotion is planning on booking Jeremy Stephens (28-18, 1 NC) against Arnold Allen (16-1).

For Jeremy Stephens, this is a make or break type of fight for the long time contender. Stephens will be entering the octagon on November 7th after going 0-4, 1 NC in his last five contests. Stephens was finished in two of those contests.

While they have all come against top competition, it’s still not a great look to the UFC when you’re riding a losing streak like this. This is the first time since 2018, that Stephens is not going to be facing a top contender in his next fight.

However, Lil Heathen is going to have his hands full. Arnold Allen is quite the exciting prospect in the UFC‘s featherweight division. Allen will walk into the cage on November 7th as the eighth ranked featherweight in the UFC. One spot ahead of the veteran, Stephens.

Big UFC test for Allen

For Allen, this is going to be the biggest test of his UFC career. The 26 year old fighter from England made his UFC debut back in 2015. Since then, Allen has gone 7-0 with the promotion with most of his fights going the distance.

Allen has been in there with some recognizable names. Most notably, Allen has had wins over former Strikeforce champion, Gilbert Melendez, and Nik Lentz. We haven’t seen Allen since January when he was able to defeat Lentz by unanimous decision.

The November 7th card is being headlined by the light heavyweight title eliminator between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixiera. This fight is another great addition to the growing card which is turning out to be a must watch for UFC fans.

State of the light heavyweight division after UFC 253

Corey Anderson

This past weekend at UFC 253, a new light heavyweight champion was crowned. This was the first light heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier since 2011. The new UFC light heavyweight king has some serious Polish Power.

Jan Blachowicz (27-8) completely dominated Dominick Reyes (12-2) this past Saturday to claim the UFC light heavyweight title. Blachowicz has gone through a career resurgence since 2017 that has seen him go 8-1 on his way to capturing UFC gold.

It was clear from the very beginning of the fight that Blachowicz had an advantage. His power took Reyes by surprise, and as a result, Reyes seemed extremely gun shy. In the second round, Blachowicz landed a massive flurry that finished the fight.

Blachowicz became the first male UFC champion from Poland. He became just the second Polish champion in history alongside Joanna Jedrzejczyk. So after UFC 253, where do we go from here and what is the status of the light heavyweight division?

What’s next after UFC 253?

There are going to be two storylines to follow in the coming weeks when it comes to the light heavyweight division. The first and most obvious storyline is the UFC‘s pound for pound best fighter in the world, Jon Jones.

After years of reigning over the division, Jones vacated his UFC light heavyweight title. Jones seemed more interested in moving to heavyweight, although he did tease a potential return to the division on Saturday night after Blachowicz won the title.

At the moment, I think Jones is going to stay on course to fight at heavyweight, but who knows. Assuming Jones doesn’t return, all eyes will shift to the November contest between Glover Teixiera and Thiago Santos. The winner of that fight will be first in line to face the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

Another name to keep your eyes on is Anthony “Rumble Johnson. Johnson has re-entered the USADA testing pool and is planning on competing in the first half of 2021. Rumble is known as one of the most feared knockout artist in UFC light heavyweight history.

Dominick Reyes will need to regroup after his second straight UFC loss, but there are a few other top contenders in the division. Jiri Prochazka and Aleksandar Rakic are two names to keep your eyes on. Exciting times in a new and fluid UFC light heavyweight division.

What’s next for the losing fighters of UFC 253?

Last night at UFC 253, we saw two incredible title fights. The promotion’s first PPV back on Fight Island featured a fight for the vacant light heavyweight title and the undisputed middleweight crown. It was a huge night for the UFC.

In the end, Israel Adesanya (20-0) and Jan Blachowicz (27-8) walked out with UFC gold wrapped around their waists. That left Paulo Costa (13-1) and Dominick Reyes (12-2) behind. Both fighters were finished in the second round of their title fights last night.

It was a rough night at the UFC office for those two. Also, it was a rough night at the office for my predictions as I missed both title fights. I predicted Costa and Reyes to walk out as champions. It was not meant to be for either man at UFC 253.

What does the UFC do with Costa?

Dana White had been pumping up the main event as a potential fight of the year because of the two men’s styles. I was extremely excited for UFC 253 because it seemed like a true bull versus matador matchup. It was anything but that last night.

Paulo Costa normally fights with reckless abandonment as he did at UFC 241. He normally pushes forward and throws bombs that causes his opponents to fold. That’s what he needed to do at UFC 253 against Israel Adesanya.

Instead, Costa stayed tentative on the outside. Adesanya had his way with Costa as he was just picking him apart. Eventually in the second round, Adesanya put Costa down for good in what was a bizarre finish to UFC 253.

This is going to be a tough fight to get over for Costa. He didn’t fight like himself and he played right into Adesanya’s hands. It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for him, but I think there’s a good fight that could be already materializing.

Derek Brunson (21-7) makes a lot of sense for Costa. Brunson is currently ranked seventh in the division and is on a three fight winning streak. His last loss is also against Adesanya. To me, this would be the perfect fight for the UFC to make for Costa’s return. Brunson has already called for the fight.

What’s next for Dominick Reyes?

It’s been a tough 2020 for Dominick Reyes. Back in February, Reyes got the shot of a lifetime against Jon Jones. Reyes fought his heart out and many people believed that he defeated Jones back at UFC 247. However, the judges disagreed and Jones walked out with the belt.

After Jones vacated the title, Reyes got another chance. It was almost looked at like a title defense for Reyes. Reyes was stifled from the very beginning by Jan Blachowicz. Blachowicz hurt Reyes bad with kicks and combinations.

The Polish Power was in full effect last night. In the second round, Reyes succumbed to Blachowicz’s power. It was a crushing defeat for Reyes and he has now gone 0-2 in UFC title shots in 2020. So what’s next for The Devestator?

There are a couple of options out there for Reyes. I think one that makes a lot of sense is taking on the loser of the Thiago Santos – Glover Teixiera fight which takes place in November. The winner is likely to get a title shot, so it would make sense that Reyes fights the loser.

A couple of other possibilities could be Aleksandar Rakic or Jiri Prochazka. Although, I think the UFC would be better served making those two fight each other next. I think Reyes will need a little time off after this one which would lineup perfectly with facing the loser of the Santos – Teixiera fight.

What’s next for the winning fighters of UFC 253?

Last night at UFC 253, we saw two dominant performances in two title fights. The promotion’s first PPV back on Fight Island featured a fight for the vacant light heavyweight title and the undisputed middleweight crown.

Israel Adesanya (20-0) and Jan Blachowicz (27-8) put on incredible performances and walked out with UFC gold wrapped around their waists. In fights that were very even on paper, these two put forth dominant performances which left no doubt.

The main event failed to deliver a war like UFC president Dana White was hoping for, but instead we saw continued brilliance from Israel Adesanya. The co-main event saw a new king emerge in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division, and that king has some serious Polish Power.

What’s next for Israel Adesanya?

Last night, Israel Adesanya completely blew me away with his performance. I thought he was going to have a difficult time at UFC 253, but he got Paulo Costa (13-1) to play right into his hands. Adesanya finished off Costa in the second round of a one sided beating.

After the fight, Adesanya made it pretty clear who he wants in his next UFC title defense. Adesanya said that he’s looking at fighting Jared Cannonier (13-4) in his next fight. Cannonier has won all three of his fights by knockout since dropping to middleweight.

Cannonier does have his hands full as he’s fighting Robert Whittaker (21-5) next at UFC 254. Despite Adesanya’s dominant win over Whittaker back at UFC 243, a rematch would be a massive fight especially if Whittaker defeats Cannonier.

Whittaker is coming off of a win against Darren Till back in July. Safe to say that the UFC is going to have Adesanya face the winner of the middleweight clash that’s scheduled for UFC 254. Or perhaps a light heavyweight showdown with Jon Jones could be in the cards.

What’s next for the UFC’s Polish Power?

What more can you say about Jan Blachowicz? Blachowicz lost to Patrick Cummins back at UFC 210 in 2017. That was the second straight loss for Blachowicz who had just turned 34 years old. His UFC career didn’t look the brightest after that fight.

However, Blachowicz went on a run after that point that nobody could have seen coming. Jan Blachowicz has won eight of his last nine fights and it all led to UFC 253. Blachowicz knocked out Dominick Reyes (12-2) in the second round to claim UFC gold.

Blachowicz spent his time calling out Jon Jones in the post fight interview. However, despite the callouts, I don’t think Blachowicz will get Jones next. I think Blachowicz is going to be taking on the winner of the Glover Teixiera – Thiago Santos fight which is booked for November.

You would have to think that the UFC and Blachowicz want to see Santos win that fight. The lone loss that Blachowicz has on his record during this stretch came to Thiago Santos. Santos knocked Blachowicz in the third round of their fight.

If Santos is able to get by Glover, it will make for a very good rematch for the Polish fighter’s first UFC title defense. Either way, fans around the world should be very happy for Jan Blachowicz.

UFC 253 Co-Main Preview: Who will be the new UFC light heavyweight champion?

Dominick Reyes

For the first time since 2011, the UFC will have a light heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier. Dominick Reyes (12-1) and Jan Blachowicz (26-8) will battle tomorrow night for the vacant UFC light heavyweight crown.

There hasn’t been much parody in the division since Shogun Rua held the title. After Jon Jones won the belt at UFC 128, the division was ruled by him. The only time the belt changed hands was when Jones’ outside issues stripped him from the title.

In those times, Daniel Cormier led the charge. However, with Cormier retired and Jones moving to heavyweight, it’s a new and exciting day in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division. The two top contenders are fighting to lead the charge on this new day.

In addition to this UFC title fight, there is a title eliminator between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixiera booked for November, and Anthony Rumble Johnson is coming back. Exciting times are ahead for the light heavyweight division.

UFC 253 Prediction

For Dominick Reyes, he’s trying to right the wrong that occurred at UFC 247. In the eyes of many, Reyes did the unthinkable which is beat Jon Jones. However, all three of the judges gave the fight to Jon Jones. There were some debatable rounds, but many thought Reyes won.

A lot of people look at this fight more as a UFC title defense for Reyes versus him challenging to become champion. The uncrowned UFC champion will have his hands full tomorrow night, but he does have the skills to match.

Reyes has been very good since making his debut back in 2017. Outside of a controversial win against Volkan Oezdemir, Reyes has looked relatively dominant in his UFC career. His athletic ability, good/long striking and strength have made him a handful.

Standing across from Reyes tomorrow will be some Polish Power. Also since 2017, Jan Blachowicz has turned the corner in his UFC career. He had one slip up in a TKO loss to Thiago Santos, but outside of that, he’s been very good.

He’s racked up wins over Jared Cannonier, Jimi Manuwa, Nikita Krylov, and Jacare Souza. However, his most impressive victories have been his knockouts over Corey Anderson and former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold.

Blachowicz will definitely have the power advantage between the two men when they step into the cage for the UFC light heavyweight title tomorrow night. It’s going to be a fantastic fight.

In terms of a prediction, this one is easier for me to predict than the main event. I think Reyes is going to give Blachowicz a lot of issues with his speed. While the reach actually favors Jan, Reyes does a better job of striking from range.

I think Reyes is also going to show much improved cardio over the span of this one. I expect both guys to have their moments throughout the fight, but I think Reyes will do enough to win it on the scorecards. This time, Reyes will walk out of the cage with a UFC title.

Prediction: Dominick Reyes by Unanimous Decision

UFC: Glover Teixiera – Thiago Santos booked for the third time

Anthony Smith, UFC

The UFC is going to try to book a light heavyweight title eliminator for the third time. COVID-19 has had their way with this contest, but the promotion is determined to make it happen. This fight will determine who will face the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

For the third time, the UFC has booked Glover Teixiera (31-7) against Thiago Santos (21-7). Originally the two men were scheduled to square off at UFC Vegas 10 in the main event of the evening. However, Teixiera came down with COVID-19 which scrapped the fight.

The UFC then pivoted to book the fight for Fight Island. The fight was to take place on the October 3rd card. This time, Santos came down with COVID-19 and the promotion was once again forced to cancel the fight.

Now, per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC is once again booking this fight for the main event on a Fight Night on November 7th. The fight will take place at the APEX in Las Vegas.

UFC Title Eliminator

The UFC will crown a new light heavyweight champion this weekend at UFC 253. Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz will go head to head to determine who will be the new light heavyweight king.

The fight between Glover and Santos will crown a clear number one contender. For years, the light heavyweight division was ruled by Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Because of their dominance, there wasn’t a lot of parody in the division.

Now, we will actually see some fluidity in the division. This weekend is going to be a big night for the UFC in crowning a new champion. This fantastic fight in November should generate an exciting number one contender for the first title defense.

Both Santos and Teixiera have fought for the UFC light heavyweight title before. Both fell short, although Santos came a lot closer to defeating Jones than Teixiera did. This should be a fantastic fight on November 7th.

UFC: Glover Teixiera – Thiago Santos fight off again due to positive COVID test (Report)

Anthony Smith, UFC

One of the more anticipated UFC light heavyweight matchups of the fall is going to be cancelled for the second time. Per a report from Combate, Thiago Santos (21-7) has tested positive for COVID-19. His October 3rd fight with Glover Teixiera (31-7) is off.

This is the second time that COVID has derailed this UFC title eliminator. Originally, this fight was supposed to be the main event of UFC Vegas 10 that occurred last weekend. However, Teixiera tested positive and they pushed the fight back to October 3rd.

Now, just weeks ahead of the anticipated matchup, Santos has gone down. We do not have any idea of what the UFC is planning to do just yet. If I had to guess, I would say that the promotion would plan on pushing the fight back once again.

UFC Title Eliminator

The main reason that I believe that the UFC is going to push forward with this fight is the title implications. There is really nobody else in the division that the promotion could pair across Teixiera to make a compelling title eliminator.

Last year, Thiago Santos pushed Jon Jones to the limit in their title fight. Many people thought that Santos won that fight. Santos has been out with a knee injury which is why we haven’t seen him since that fight. This fight could perhaps be pushed back to UFC 254 later in the month.