On September 4, 2013, at UFC on Fox Sports 1 No. 3, light heavyweight contenders Glover Teixeira (No. 3) and Ryan Bader (No. 10) will clash in an effort to move up the divisional rankings.
For Teixeira, a win over Bader wouldn’t necessarily earn the Brazilian a title shot. However, he would be able to keep his standing as a top contender for the light heavyweight championship title.
The two combatants were scheduled to face each other in May 2013. However, citing an injury, Bader was sidelined and replaced by James Te Huna at UFC 160.
Teixeira went on to submit the New Zealander via guillotine choke in two minutes, 38 seconds in the very first round. The finish earned the Brazilian Submission of the Night honors, garnering him an extra $50,000.
In an interview with MMA Junkie, regarding Bader, Teixeira stated:
They gave me Ryan Bader for my last fight. He's a big name, but it ended up being James Te Huna. They're all tough guys, don't get me wrong. The big names can make a difference for exposure, but those up-and-coming guys are tough, too. I really don't care. I know sooner or later, I'm going to get that title.
A victory over a once highly touted and formidable Bader on September 4 would not only pad Teixeira’s resume with a name opponent and extend his 19–fight win streak, it would also build credibility for a fighter who hasn’t defeated any of the current top-10 light heavyweights in his division.
Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4
Both Teixeira and Bader are skilled in the striking area. Although the Brazilian possesses a slightly higher knockout percentage (57 percent) than that of Bader, he hasn't knocked out anyone with star power.
In addition, even though both combatants have fought and beaten the hard-hitting and former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson, Bader has gone to battle more fighters with tremendous stand-up skills, including current light heavyweight king Jon Jones and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
At UFC on Fox Sports 1 No. 3, experience will play a factor in the stand-up game, as both combatants are heavy-handed and will attempt to continue their rise to the light heavyweight title.
Advantage (although slight): Ryan Bader
UFC on Fox 6: Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Teixeira, without doubt, prefers the stand-up game. However, the Brazilian has little issue grappling with his opponents. He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and sports six career submissions.
At the same time, although Bader has acquired just three career submissions, his wrestling is elite. The Nevada native is a former NCAA Division I All-American and enjoys using his wrestling to wear down his opponents.
Bader has proven that he is very well-rounded. His high-level wrestling normally allows the 30-year-old to dictate the pace of his fights. In that, despite his No. 10 ranking, all three of the light heavyweight contender’s losses have come at the hands of current or former world champions.
At UFC on Fox Sports 1 No. 3, it is more than likely that Bader will attempt to utilize his grappling to stifle his opponent and move up the light heavyweight division’s totem pole.
Advantage: Ryan Bader
Glover Teixeira at UFC 160
Teixeira will definitely have the Brazilian fans behind him when he takes on his American counterpart. Brazilian fighters have a history of performing extremely well on their home soil.
For instance, at UFC on Fuel TV 10—the last event held in Brazil—all the fighters native to the largest South American country won their respective bouts. In addition, on the same night, a new record for the number of submissions executed in a single UFC event was set (eight in total).
At UFC on Fox Sports 1 No. 3, Teixeira will attempt to appeal to his strengths by utilizing his punching power and Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills to add another win to his record.
In that win, the Brazilian will not only give all his effort toward making his country proud. A win would also allow Teixeira to remain at the top of his division, priming him for an eventual light heavyweight title shot.
Advantage: Glover Teixeira