Glover Teixeira notched an impressive fifth-round TKO win over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC Fight Night Jacksonville from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida on Wednesday.
Lionheart wasted no time getting started. He was the aggressor early on and attacked the Brazilian's lead leg with kicks and worked behind his jab. The only thing that could reverse his momentum was a low blow from which he had to take time to recover.
Still, after the mid-round break, it was mostly Smith winning the exchanges with Teixeira firing back hooks or leg kicks in return.
Weathering the early storm paid off for Teixeira in the second stanza. As Smith's output waned, Teixeira started throwing and landing some heavy leather. Despite a swollen eye, he managed to work himself into the round in the latter half.
Teixeira would emphatically own the third round. It was a minor miracle the fight wasn't stopped as Teixeira floored Smith and followed up on the ground but went for a submission before forcing the referee to make a decision:
With blood in the water and literally on the mat, the 40-year-old continued to be aggressive on the feet and probably could have finished the fight if he hadn't followed Smith to the ground and allowed Lionheart to be in survival mode.
The fifth round finally saw the fight mercifully come to an end as Teixeira got Smith in mount and rained down strikes until he drew the finish.
The win is Teixeira's fourth straight since losing in July 2018 to Corey Anderson. Smith is now 1-1 since his loss to Jon Jones in a title fight. He beat Alexander Gustafsson by fourth-round submission in his last fight.
In a time when the light heavyweight division is seeing an injection of new names and title contenders, Teixeira is reminding people he might not be done quite yet.
Main Card Results
- Glover Teixeira def. Anthony Smith via TKO at 1:04 of Round 5
- Ben Rothwell def. Ovince Saint Preux via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
- Drew Dober def. Alexander Hernandez via TKO at 4:25 of Round 2
- Ricky Simon def. Ray Borg via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
- Andrei Arlovski def. Philipe Lins via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
- Thiago Moises def. Michael Johnson via submission at 0:25 of Round 2
- Sijara Eubanks def. Sarah Moras via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
- Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer def. Gabriel Benitez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Brian Kelleher def. Hunter Azure via KO at 3:40 of Round 2
- Chase Sherman def. Isaac Villanueva via TKO at 0:49 of Round 2
Ben Rothwell vs. Ovince Saint Preux
Ovince Saint Preux found out the hard way that the move from light heavyweight to heavyweight comes with some serious challenges.
Making his debut in the division, he was fighting an opponent in Rothwell who weighs in 60 pounds heavier than pretty much every opponent Saint Preux has seen, and it showed early. Saint Preux was tentative and trying to avoid engaging with Rothwell early and often.
OSP showed signs of life in the second round with a massive counter left hand that wobbled Big Ben, but it punctuated a mostly lackluster round from him.
It wasn't until the third round that Saint Preux seemed to have an answer for Rothwell's pressure. He threw his counters a little more freely, and they found a home with a little more regularity. Current light heavyweight king Jon Jones acknowledged the difficulty in making the transition:
Rothwell continues to quash younger fighters hoping to gain some momentum in the heavyweight division. He took care of Stefan Struve in his last fight of 2019 and continues to be a wily veteran gatekeeper.
Drew Dober vs. Alexander Hernandez
The knockouts just keep coming to Drew Dober even if Alexander Hernandez made him work for it. After a competitive round-and-a-half, the lightweight finally turned the tide for good.
Dober has scored two first-round knockouts in his previous two fights but spent much of the first round working to find his range and fending off reactive takedowns from Hernandez. He was largely able to defend them, but it was a back-and-forth fight.
In the second round, he continued to apply the pressure, showing shades of teammate Justin Gaethje. Hernandez's takedowns didn't stick when he did manage to get Dober to the ground, and he ran out of answers to Dober's power.
The 31-year-old stalked him and landed bombs at will until the referee brought an end to the action.
The win should propel Dober into the lightweight rankings and set up some intriguing matchups for him in the future. Hernandez was the 15th-ranked fighter in the UFC's rankings.
Ricky Simon vs. Ray Borg
Following up a lumbering, slow-paced heavyweight fight, Ricky Simon and Ray Borg looked like they were in fast-forward as they engaged in a frenetic three-rounder.
It had a little bit of everything. Simon provided some great takedowns, Borg scored with quality boxing and combination punching, and the two even found some time to get some friendly trash talk in:
Simon's unofficial tally of seven takedowns set him apart in an extremely close fight that should raise both fighter's stock. Borg's striking looked as good as ever; it just wasn't enough to top Simon's wrestling.
Simon really needed a win. He had lost back-to-back fights to Urijah Faber and Rob Font, which snapped an eight-fight win streak.
It will take more than this win to gain all of that momentum back, but he put himself back on the right track. Borg had won back-to-back fights and will need to have a bounce-back performance to avoid a losing streak of his own.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Philipe Lins
As the winner of the Professional Fighters League heavyweight tournament in 2018, Philipe Lins was expected to make a splash in his UFC debut.
He barely made a ripple. Instead, Andrei Arlovski showed he somehow still has enough left in him to hang with up-and-comers in the division. The Pitbull struggled the most in the first round as Lins' speed held the upper hand in many of the exchanges, but he ultimately won that round on two of the three scorecards.
Arlovski spent much of the fight in a southpaw stance despite being a traditionally orthodox-stance fighter. The switch seemed to trouble Lins, as he was hesitant to commit to his strikes with Arlovski changing things up.
It was a testament to Arlovski's willingness to alter his approach after fighting for more than 20 years. It's been 15 years since Arlovski was the UFC heavyweight champion, and those days are gone, but he proved he's still a tough out for anyone not ready to make the jump up in competition.
Michael Johnson vs. Thiago Moises
The perplexing career of Michael Johnson added another chapter with a second-round submission loss to Thiago Moises to kick off the main card in Jacksonville.
Johnson—who holds wins over Tony Ferguson, Edson Barboza and Dustin Poirier—came out swinging in the first round and was obviously the quicker fighter. He was outstriking Moises on the feet and appeared on his way to winning on points if the dynamic continued to play out.
Moises wasn't willing to let the fight just play out, though. He came out in the second round and aggressively pursued a takedown. Once he got Johnson on the mat, he wasted little time in locking up the heel hook and clinching the victory:
Moises has alternated wins and losses in each of his four UFC fights, but this one showcased the kind of fight-changing potential he has on the ground. The first round showed that he has a lot of development still to go to reach his potential, but this was his biggest win.