UFC Fight Night 28: Predicting the Fight Night Bonuses
The UFC keeps on rolling only days after Anthony Pettis dethroned Benson Henderson. At UFC 164 on Wednesday, Glover Teixeira will try to take a step closer to a title shot with a win over Ryan Bader.
Undefeated since joining the UFC roster just over a year ago, Teixeira is already considered one of the light heavyweight division's top contenders. Although he holds no wins over current top-10 light heavyweights, Teixeira has looked the part of a title threat both standing and on the ground.
Although he's ranked much higher than his UFC Fight Night 28 adversary, Teixeira could be facing his toughest test to date in Bader. The former TUF winner sits just outside the top 10 right now, but wins over Quinton Jackson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira make him one of the better fighters in the 205-pound class.
While Teixeira and Bader will own the headlines heading into Wednesday's fights, there are a number of interesting contests taking place at UFC Fight Night 28. Here are the most likely performance bonus winners from the upcoming fight card.
Fight of the Night: Yushin Okami vs. Ronaldo Souza
Yushin Okami has not won Fight of the Night honors in his long UFC tenure, but a bout with Ronaldo Souza could force the Japanese middleweight into a more exciting outing.
Often, Okami is able to pin opponents to the cage and control them on the ground. That won't be so easy against Souza.
"Jacare" is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners to ever compete in MMA. He's sure to make Okami work for takedowns and will threaten with submissions on the ground.
With no regular Fight of the Night winners competing on the preliminary card, Okami and Souza are the early favorites to steal the bonus.
Knockout of the Night: Glover Teixeira
Glover Teixeira will have a chance to prove he is one of the light heavyweight division's top contenders on Wednesday. While Ryan Bader is outside of the top 10 at the moment, a win over him is what catapulted 205-pound champion Jon Jones into his first title fight against Mauricio Rua.
Bader's wrestling is probably Teixeira's biggest concern in this matchup. However, the Brazilian has very solid grappling of his own and only needs to land one shot to bring this fight to an end.
While he has to be wary of Bader's knockout power as well, Teixeira is the more technical boxer. If Tito Ortiz can drop Bader, then Teixeira should be able to finish the UFC Fight Night 28 main event in spectacular fashion.
Submission of the Night: Rafael Natal
Rafael Natal will have a chance to make a statement on Wednesday.
Competing in his home country of Brazil, Natal has drawn The Ultimate Fighter veteran Tor Troeng, whose only UFC win came against Adam Cella. Troeng is promising, but he's not done a whole lot to prove he deserves a long-term spot on the UFC middleweight roster.
Troeng has been submitted twice in his MMA career, and half of Natal's 16 victories have come via submission. There's no guarantee Natal will lock up a jaw-dropping submission, but he has to be considered the most likely to score one on the UFC Fight Night 28 fight card.