Glover Teixeira has been rapidly building himself a UFC fanbase. His performance at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will do nothing but speed up the Teixeira hype train even more.
Teixeira (19-2) dismantled Fabio Maldonado (18-6) via TKO once the doctor stepped in after the end of the second round and said enough was enough.
The win gives the Brazilian his 17th consecutive victory with a fight against a big-name opponent (most presume Rampage Jackson, although nothing is confirmed) looming on the horizon.
Teixeira came out very strong against Maldonado and controlled the Octagon from the opening minute of the fight. While his punches were impressive, most fans will remember the destruction he bestowed upon Maldonado with face-shredding elbows.
While the fight was one-sided, there was a brief moment near the end of the first round when Teixeira got a little too comfortable and dropped his hands while standing right in front of Maldonado.
A desperate Maldonado threw a quick but powerful left hook that landed flush on the chin of Teixeira. Teixeira was stunned and ended up finishing the round on the ground while under the control of Maldonado.
This scare was just that, a scare, and Teixeira came out in the second round to end the fight convincingly.
Teixeira referred to Maldonado as "not human" in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. That may be the best way to sum up how Maldonado continued to get up time and time again. There are some very strong chins in the UFC, but the one displayed by Maldonado may be on par with the best I've ever seen.
In Maldonado's 23 previous fights before his battle with Teixeira, he had never had a loss come via TKO.
For Maldonado, the loss puts him on a three-fight losing streak, and he is now 1-3 overall in the UFC. I still expect to see him come back early next year and headline the prelim portion of a pay-per-view card (ie, FuelTV or FX). His punching power, competitiveness, heart and chin are reasons why fans will like to see him fight again.
For Teixeira, as mentioned he is going to get a big name next. It was somewhat alarming to see him hang his hands low like many of John Hackleman's fighters have done in the past, but he has a devastating ground game to complement his stand-up striking. The future is bright.
Joe Chacon is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.