UFC 153: Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado Head-to-Toe Breakdown
UFC 153 goes down on Saturday from the HSBC Arena in fabulous Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
One of the more interesting fights on the main card pits fan and media darling du jour Glover Teixeira against less-heralded but still-promising fellow newcomer Fabio Maldonado.
How does this break down? Why don't we take a look.
Glover Teixeira knocks people out, of that there's no doubt. He has won 11 of 18 career victories by T/KO. In his UFC debut, his chokeout win over Kyle Kingsbury began with a damaging uppercut.
This is all pretty common knowledge, though. People may be less familiar with Maldonado, but as mentioned, he's a hot prospect himself.
Maldonado is a former professional boxer. In that line of work, he notched 21 of 22 victories by T/KO. He especially likes to attack the body. So far in MMA, he has won 12 of 18 victories by knockout. That's one more than Teixeira.
Here's the rub: Maldonado has good expertise, good power and a good chin. However, he has looked kind of pedestrian in both his UFC fights thus far. He lost a tough one against Igor Pokrajac and Kyle Kingsbury before that.
Slight Advantage: Teixeira
Another close one on paper, but this one doesn't get past the paper stage.
Maldonado is a brown belt under the Nogueira brothers and has three submission victories. Teixeira is a BJJ black belt with five submission wins. Neither man appears to be especially predisposed to ground fighting.
Maldonado is catching up, but he's not entirely there yet. He's a boxing specialist and everyone knows it.
Intangibles/Between the Ears
After immigration officials poked at him with sticks for several years and kept him out of the UFC, Teixeira is a pretty rabid dog. He's 32 years old and knows that a fighter's life is finite.
Maldonado is confident; or else, he wouldn't have taken the fight.
Neither man appears to have immediate cardio issues. Therefore, the tiebreaker here is that Teixeira mystique, which will stay intact until somebody proves that it shouldn't.
Maldonado has the tools to be a good UFC fighter, but he doesn't have an advantage in any major phase of this fight.
Teixeira should, in all likelihood, pick up his second win in the Octagon and continue on to challenge all those guys who refuse to fight him now.
Soon enough, refusal will no longer be an option.
Prediction: Glover Teixeira, submission, first round.