James Te Huna is an absolute animal. He owns devastating power, an incredible ability to recover from damage and he employs a constant in-your-face attack. The guy’s a pressure cooker, and any man opposing him had best to be leery of sneaky power punches and a respectable physical and mental fortitude.
The man’s earned five victories inside the Octagon, dropping a single bout to current number two ranked light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson. He’s successfully finished three of his five victims, and recently engaged in a thrilling war of attrition with Ryan Jimmo at UFC UFC on Fuel TV 7.
He’s proven himself a consistently improving fighter with a wealth of promise.
But in stepping up for the injured Ryan Bader to challenge Glover Teixeira at UFC 160, Te Huna will face a man unlike he’s ever seen inside the cage.
Glover Teixeira has been adorned the moniker of “The Future of the Light Heavyweight Division.” And, to be fair, that’s a solid brand to carry. Teixeira is an absolute animal who possesses a rare combination of destructive power, a well fueled gas tank, an extremely durable chin and a refusal to succumb to the physical strengths of his opponents.
Teixeira is a rare breed, and if there’s a single fault to point to in regards to the man’s overall skill set, it’s his lack of explosive athleticism.
The question is, can Te Huna survive the onslaught that Teixeira is guaranteed to bring, and can he exercise the proper speed and agility to keep himself out of direct danger, long enough to score the points required to exit the cage victorious?
Te Huna’s reckless attack has left him susceptible to power counters in the past (Ryan Jimmo floored Te Huna with a high-kick at UFC on Fuel TV 7 and Joey Beltran buckled the Australian with a left hook late in the second frame of their encounter at UFC on Fuel TV 4), and he will not be afforded the ability to eat a bomb from Teixeira. If the Brazilian lands heavy leather, there’s a solid chance Te Huna goes down and doesn’t get up for an extended period of time.
If Te Huna fights the perfect fight and abandons some of his brutish rushing tactics, he can win this fight by forcing the action against the cage, where he’s markedly effective with dirty boxing.
The chances of that seem a bit unlikely. However, anything is possible in the sport of mixed martial arts.
If Te Huna is flawless, and keeps that chin tucked, he can shock the world and derail a man that many consider the future of the division. One simple mistake however likely leads to a nasty finish from Teixeira.
Regardless of the outcome of the fight, James Te Huna deserves a wealth of respect for jumping at the opportunity to battle a man often avoided by his professional peers. This could be a career changing fight for the likeable Te Huna, who only stands to gain fans in his willingness to accept this bout.
Win or lose, Te Huna is a damn stud, who's earned my respect ten fold.
Follow me on Twitter.