UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira Odds, Schedule and Predictions for Full CardMay 13, 2020
Fresh off a strong offering at UFC 249, Dana White and Co. will be right back at it Wednesday with a UFC Fight Night card headlined by Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira in a key light heavyweight matchup from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
The arena also hosted the pay-per-event last Saturday and will stage an additional Fight Night on May 16 as the company continues to put on events amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main event is one that features two former title challengers in the light heavyweight division. Smith earned a fourth-round submission victory over Alexander Gustafsson in his last appearance in June 2019, while Teixeira narrowly beat Nikita Krylov by split decision in September.
The rest of the card features a veteran-heavy display of talent, and several fighters will be looking to get back into contention. Here's a look at the complete card with odds and prediction for each of the bouts.
Main Card (ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET)
- Anthony Smith (-180; bet $180 to win $100) vs. Glover Teixeira (+150)
- Ben Rothwell (+120) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (-150)
- Drew Dober (-120) vs. Alexander Hernandez (-110)
- Ray Borg (+140) vs. Ricky Simon (-170)
- Karl Roberson (+145) vs. Marvin Vettori (-175)
Prelims (ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET)
- Andrei Arlovski (+145) vs. Philipe Lins (-175)
- Michael Johnson (-110) vs. Thiago Moises (-120)
- Sijara Eubanks (N/A) vs. Sarah Moras (N/A)
- Hunter Azure (-170) vs. Brian Kelleher (+140)
- Chase Sherman (-155) vs. Ike Villanueva (+125)
- Gabriel Benitez (+150) vs. Omar Morales (-180)
Odds via Caesars Palace; italics denote predicted winner
Anthony Smith Takes Out Glover Teixeira
Smith returns to the Octagon nearly a year removed from his submission win over Gustafsson and looking to get back into the discussion as a contender in the light heavyweight division.
The 31-year-old has dealt with fight cancellations and a home invasion in the interim but has a big opportunity to regain his momentum with a win over Teixeira.
Since moving up to light heavyweight in 2018, all he has done is finish fights—when he doesn't fight Jon Jones, that is. His lone blemish at 205 pounds is a unanimous-decision loss to Bones, which is about the same as every other light heavyweight who has fought the champion.
But Smith's win over Gustafsson proves he is still one of the most dangerous in the division outside of the champ.
Teixeira has to look back much further for his loss to Jones. The 40-year-old dropped a decision to him in 2014 after a nine-year win streak and hasn't been able to climb that mountain again. He's currently riding a three-fight winning run, though, and victory over Smith would certainly elevate his case.
This fight could get interesting on the ground. Smith doesn't have the best takedown defense and was taken down at least once in each of his last three fights. He has been bailed out by his submission game in the past, but Teixeira has never been submitted.
Lionheart's aggression and use of his length give him an advantage on the feet at this point in the careers of both men. Teixeira doesn't seem to have the power he once did and hasn't scored a knockout win in three years.
Smith has excelled in the light heavyweight division as a powerful and diverse striker. As long as he can keep this from becoming a grapple-fest he'll hold the advantage on the feet and bring Teixeira's streak to an end.
Prediction: Smith via third-round TKO
Ovince Saint Preux Makes Successful Heavyweight Debut
Ovince Saint Preux has made his name in the light heavyweight division. He had an interesting fight with Jon Jones and has amassed 20 fights under the UFC banner in the division.
With a record of 12-8 in the division, though, he's never been able to break through as a legitimate top fighter in the division.
That's what makes his move to heavyweight against Ben Rothwell interesting. The former college football player says the move is not permanent but he is open to a run at heavyweight, per Danny Segura of MMA Junkie.
This isn't just a case of two light heavyweights who don't feel like cutting weight, nor is it the heavyweight version of Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. Rothwell is a legitimate heavyweight who cut weight to make the 265-pound limit.
Saint Preux's best attribute as a light heavyweight was his athleticism and quickness. It's rare that he doesn't look like the best athlete in the cage, even though he's rarely the smaller man.
While the 37-year-old is giving up the dynamic of being the bigger, stronger fighter, he's doubling down on athleticism by moving up in weight.
Rothwell should have the advantage on the ground. If he can close the distance he'll make OSP feel more weight than he's ever felt in a fight, but he's also not a particularly quick heavyweight. So Saint Preux should have no problem sticking him on the end of his jab and leg kicks and work around his bigger opponent.
If this goes to the ground it gets interesting. Rothwell is likely to be the better overall grappler, but OSP can get creative and aggressive with submissions. He's won multiple fights with the rare Von Flue choke.
Prediction: Saint Preux via decision
Drew Dober Continues Hot Streak Against Alexander Hernandez
Alexander Hernandez looked like someone the rest of the lightweight division should be worried about when he opened his UFC run with wins over Beneil Dariush and Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
Then he ran into Donald Cerrone, who brought his stock back to Earth with a second-round TKO.
Hernandez salvaged some of his momentum with a decision win over Francisco Trinaldo but will now line up against another dangerous opponent in Drew Dober.
Dober has been in the zone in his two most recent performances, which both resulted in first-round finishes as he beat Marco Polo Reyes and Nasrat Haqparast.
The 31-year-old is a strong counter-puncher with good grappling and powerful takedowns.
Before Cerrone took the shine off Hernandez, he came across as a confident aggressor who wanted to push his pace. In the defeat to Cowboy and his win over Trinaldo, he appeared to be more apprehensive in his approach. If he hesitates to let his hands go against Dober, he could be in trouble.
Coming off back-to-back knockouts, Dober's confidence could be the difference in a fight that is otherwise close on paper. He knows how to adapt and has picked up wins in a variety of ways. His all-terrain style and savvy combined with confidence give him the upper hand despite the close odds.
Prediction: Dober via decision