Mixed martial arts legend and former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Rampage Jackson will finally meet the very dangerous and relatively mysterious Glover Teixeira this weekend on FOX.
Teixeira has been on a tear since making his debut back in May following his acceptance into the country. The Brazilian's sheer dominance has led to this fight.
The UFC community has been dying to see him step into the Octagon opposite one of the best 205-pound fighters in the world. Well, even though Jackson is on the steady decline, the heavy-handed veteran fits the bill.
But who has the upper hand? Which top fighter will prevail and why?
Without further ado, acknowledging that this may very well be Rampage's last fight in the promotion, here's the initial head-to-toe breakdown leading up to UFC on FOX 6.
Frankly, this isn't even a contest.
Rampage Jackson may very well be the most heavy-handed light heavyweight in MMA history. He has knocked out the who's who of strikers over the past 10 years and guys who are much more dynamic on their feet than Glover Teixeira.
I'm not trying to take anything away from Teixeira's striking abilities and overall skill set, but he's no match in the power department compared to the Memphis brawler.
If you don't agree, just look at how much damage Teixeira inflicted on Fabio Maldonado without knocking him out. Now while that's a truly honest depiction of how barbaric Maldonado's chin is, it's also a testament to Teixeira's lack of one-punch power.
Teixeira may be the better all-around fighter, but don't expect Rampage's bread and butter to take a back seat.
Considering Rampage Jackson is the type of fighter that either lands one big power punch or wilts under an opponent's conditioned pressure, he's seemingly at a disadvantage when it comes to versatility.
The bottom line is Glover Teixeira is more dynamic on his feet. He isn't Jon Jones, but the Brazilian can switch angles and change techniques quicker and more frequently than Jackson can.
Rampage still has a little kick left in him from his kickboxing days, but nothing that's going to stop the rising prospect in his tracks.
Look for Teixeira to push the pace, batter Jackson from head to toe and move in for the finish.
SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: TEIXEIRA
Neither one of these guys are world-class wrestlers, but it's evident that Glover Teixeira is more versed than Rampage Jackson in the department.
Jackson has excellent takedown defense, but so does Teixeira. Not for nothing, but the Brazilian is more or less a protege of UFC Hall of Fame legend Chuck Liddell, a former light heavyweight champion known for his elite takedown defense.
So it's likely that some of Liddell's knowledge has rubbed off on Teixeira, who seems like an absolute sponge when it comes to learning new techniques.
As far as takedown offense is concerned and the ability to grind alongside the cage, Teixeira should once again have the upper hand.
Rampage isn't going to be looking to bring the fight to the mat, and if Teixeira can land a few good shots to start things off, look for him to shoot fairly often.
First and foremost, both guys possess a killer instinct to finish any opponent they fight. That's not the issue.
The question at hand is who has the better ability to finish a fight and utilize that natural tendency to pounce on injured prey.
After mulling it over for about 10 seconds, Rampage Jackson ekes this one out. Not to sound repetitive, but look at how much effort Glover Teixeira put into finishing Fabio Maldonado only to secure a decisive victory by way of doctor stoppage.
Now I know that Teixeira has knocked out 12 guys throughout his career, but if that were Rampage opposite the hard-headed Maldonado, a highlight reel finish would have ensued.
SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: RAMPAGE
It's important to understand that Rampage Jackson possesses one of the best submission defenses in light heavyweight history.
For all the top-level fighters he's competed against, many of which were proficient jiu-jitsu practitioners, Jackson has only been submitted once. That sole collapse came opposite the formidable Jon Jones back at UFC 135 not more than 16 months ago.
With all of that said, Jackson doesn't really possess an offensive will to implement his own tactical submissions. Glover Teixeira on the other hand does.
Teixeira not only boasts a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, but he's recorded three wins by way of submission over his last five victories.
To say that he's somewhat capable of sinking in a fight-ending choke or lock would be an understatement in my book.
On paper this is a truly interesting matchup. Their styles compliment one another and should produce fireworks as the co-main event at UFC on FOX 6.
However, off paper, meaning the implications that this fight encompasses, this matchup is a full-fledged universal explosion.
On one hand you have Rampage Jackson, a guy fighting to prove a point. Jackson is in dyer need of a win to spark some interest from other MMA promotions pursuing a high-level veteran to boost ratings.
Not to mention he wants to end his stint in the UFC with a devastating knockout and big middle finger waving in the direction of Dana White and company.
On the other hand you have Glover Teixeira. Teixeira is desperately in pursuit of a future light heavyweight title shot and needs nothing more than a victory over a big name like Jackson to get that much closer.
He'll have his chance to do so, but a lack luster performance could derail his hopes and ultimately send the hype surrounding him crashing to the ground.
So who has more to win? Who has the most motivation?
Honestly, considering emotional despair often lends a helping hand in producing timely and unprecedented comebacks, Jackson probably has a little more motivation coming into this fight. He needs a victory to prolong his career and has always turned it on when necessary.
SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: RAMPAGE
As a fan of Rampage Jackson and his ability to knockout anyone he meets inside of a cage, I would like to think he can finish Glover Teixeira fairly early.
But the MMA journalist inside of me, as well as the common sense currently pouring out of my finger tips, is telling me that Teixeira is simply too good to be stopped by a declining power puncher past his prime.
Crazier things have happened and I know Rampage needs a victory to recapture any stardom he has left, but Teixeira is physically superior.
His conditioning is elite, his wrestling is better, his submission game is more relevant and he's been training alongside Chuck Liddell and John Hackleman for awhile.
It just seems like Teixeira's time is now and Rampage just happens to be standing in the way. So unless Jackson lands one of his patented hooks that leaves an opponent unconscious, I don't see a way Teixeira loses.
VERDICT: TEIXEIRA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
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