UFC Fight Night Jacksonville: Smith vs. Teixeira Predictions & Results

UFC Fight Night Jacksonville: Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith vs Glover Teixeria. A light heavyweight scrap between a continually improving all-rounder and a resurgent fan favourite.

Wednesday 13th May 2020, UFC Fight Night Jacksonville features the main event showdown between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeria at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida. Despite media buzz surrounding the as yet mythical ‘fight island’, the Smith/Teixeira card will take place in the same arena that hosted UFC 249, the first UFC event to return since temporary suspensions caused by the on-going Coronavirus pandemic.

IMPORTANT NEWS: Although no corona-related incidents have thankfully been reported during the build-up to Fight Night, there has been a cancellation. On a card is that lacking meaningful 50/50 fights, it is a big hit to lose the middleweight showdown between Marvin ‘The Italian Dream’ Vettori (14-3-1) and Karl ‘Baby K’ Roberson (9-2). According to Ariel Helwani, Roberson fell ill following a nightmare weight cut and is unable to compete. It is a surprise that Roberson is the first fighter to suffer weight-related issues since the UFC’s return, where normal weight cutting procedures are difficult to employ during times of quarantine. Moreover, this marks the third cancellation in a row for Vettori since his last fight in September 2019: Darren Stewart 21 March 2020 (Coronavirus), Karl Roberson 25 April 2020 (Postponement), and 13 May 2020 (Roberson misses weight).

Ariel Helwani breaking the news of Karl Roberson’s illness and the cancellation of Karl Roberson vs Marvin Vettori.

Main Event

Light Heavyweight (205)

Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith (33-14) vs Glover Teixeira (30-7)

40yr old Brazilian, Glover Teixeira, is a UFC veteran with the upcoming fight against Smith marking his nineteenth for the organisation. Teixeira represents an older generation of mixed martial artists, and during the twilight of his career, has opted to double down on his durability and exhaust, rather than outwit, opponents. That is not to say that Teixeira lacks credentials, holding a 2nd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a 7th-degree black belt in the lesser-known Kajukenbo. Accumulation of significant punishment over his career, including damaging maulings from Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, however, has raised questions over the once renowned resilience of the Brazilian. Despite a three-fight win streak against relatively game opposition (prospects Karl Roberson and Ion Cutelaba, as well as fellow veteran Nikita Krylov), Teixeira has more accurately been able to capitalise on dreadful decision making and planning by opponents, rather than outclassing them.

31yr old Nebraskan, Anthony Smith, hit the form of his life after knocking out Rashad Evans at UFC 225 in June 2018. After being stopped by Thiago Santos at the start of 2018, Smith has compiled four stoppage wins against big named opponents: Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, Volkan Oezdemir, and (most notably) Alexander Gustafsson in his hometown of Stockholm, Sweden. Whilst Evans and Rua were shadows of their former selves, victories over the two household names seems to have spurred Smith onto the next level. Through the method of rear-naked choke, Smith has stopped perennial top-5 floater Oezdemir and two-time light heavyweight title challenger Gustafsson. Perhaps most important is the one loss that Smith has experienced during his run of good form. Losing to Jon Jones, arguably the greatest of all time, is no shame for a fighter. But to take Jones the full five rounds in a match-up that analysts felt was too steep, highlights the quality of Smith as he limited the punishment taken that previous fighters had been unable to avoid. With a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and power in both hands, as well as his elbows, Smith is a well-rounded fighter with youth on his side.

Predicted result: Smith TKO Round 2

Smith will be able to swarm the older man and dictate the proceedings within the octagon. Teixeira’s refusal to move off the centre line will allow Smith to land straight shots, and will most likely finish the fight landing elbows and knees as Teixeira leans against the cage.

UFC 225 results: Anthony Smith knocks out Rashad Evans in opening ...
Anthony Smith lands a powerful knee in the clinch, knocking out Rashad Evans at UFC 225. June 2018.

Result: Teixeira def. Smith // TKO (punches) Round 5 1:04

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️// Round ❌


Co-Main Event

Heavyweight (265)

Ovince St. Preux (24-13) vs Ben Rothwell (37-12)

Sharing 25 losses and with one year apart in age (St Preux, 37yr old; Rothwell, 38yr old) this clash on paper looks like a typically unattractive heavyweight brawl. There is one surprise, though. This fight is the first heavyweight fight for the career light heavy, Ovince St Preux. The Von Flue choke expert, St Preux, has recently found himself in murky waters within the lower weight class. With a mixed record against middling opposition (losing to Nikita Krylov and Dominick Reyes, winning against Corey Anderson and Michał Oleksiejczuk), the move up in weight is likely motivated by a) the ability to skip a weight cut and b) the lack of talent in the heavyweight pool which makes rising the ranks an efficient process.

Standing in St Preux’s way is heavy-hitting Ben Rothwell. Rothwell’s gameplan on Wednesday night will not spring any surprises. The Wisconsin slugger will plod lethargically around the cage, looping power punches, and attempt to counter any takedowns with his favoured front choke submission. Since returning from his three-year absence in March 2019, Rothwell has lost to ranked gatekeepers Blagoy Ivanov and Andrei Arlovski, with his only victory a retirement inducing knockout of Stefan Struve.

Predicted Result: Rothwell Decision

Neither man’s gas tank is a strong point. OSP, however, has notoriously dreadful endurance. If, in shocking circumstances, the weight cut is to blame for OSP’s stamina shortcomings at light heavyweight, then it will likely swing the result in favour of OSP. Most likely, however, is that the stamina is a deep-rooted issue and Rothwell will be able to cruise to a decision victory by providing a more consistent output.

UFC Copenhagen Results: Ovince Saint Preux Did it Again, Fight ...
Ovince St. Preux submits Michal Oleksiejczuk via his favourite submission, the Von Flue choke. UFC Fight Night Copenhagen, September 2019.

Result: Rothwell def. OSP // Decision (split – 29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️// Round ✔️


Main Card

Lightweight (155)

Drew Dober (22-9) vs Alexander ‘The Great’ Hernandez (11-2)

Coming into the fight off the biggest victory of his career, Drew Dober will be looking to finish Hernandez similarly to Nasrat Haqparast in January 2020. Whilst always possessing a granite chin, Dober will be hoping to once again display a calculated boxing offence to stop the swarming Hernandez in his tracks. Since talking a big game in the build-up to the Donald Cerrone fight, Hernandez became a meme amongst fight fans having been kneed into a second-round stoppage in January 2019. A routine win over Francisco Trinaldo last July has done little to silence doubters as Hernandez’s flat-footed striking looked a far-cry from the swarming, all-guns-blazing approach that had marked his entry into the UFC.

Predicted Result: Hernandez Decision

It is likely Hernandez’s fight against Trinaldo was an anomaly and was required to shake off the cobwebs after a crushing loss against Cerrone. Despite Dober’s improvements on his feet, if Hernandez opts to grapple, then he will be able to out-muscle and out-class the Colorado fighter.

UFC Brooklyn ESPN prelims results and highlights: Donald Cerrone ...
Alexander Hernandez eating one of many intercepting knees thrown by Donald Cerrone at UFC FIght Night Brooklyn, January 2019.

Result: Dober def. Hernandez // TKO (punches) Round 2 4:25

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌


Bantamweight (135)

Ray ‘The Tazmexican Devil’ Borg (13-4) vs Ricky Simón (15-3)

It underlines the weak nature of this Fight Night card when media members are choosing this Bantamweight scrap as a key fight to watch. Evolving from a submission artist into a wrestling decision machine, Borg comes into the fight on a two-win streak. In contrast, Ricky Simón is coming off two losses, including a prize opportunity to make a name for himself against veteran Urijah Faber. Defeating ADCC champion, Rani Yahya, puts Simón in good stead for future match-ups with elite grapplers. Moreover, Borg lacks experience at bantamweight (despite consistent weight issues) and Simón will not be easy to outmuscle during grappling exchanges.

Predicted Result: Simón Decision

In what should at least be an active fight between an energetic wrestler/grappler and a frenetic swarmer with solid TDD, Simón has the edge as the more accomplished bantamweight.

Ricky Simon Wants To End 2019 On A High-Note | UFC
Ricky Simón’s glorious mullet in full display against Rani Yahya at UFC 234, February 2019.

Result: Simon def. Borg // Decision (split – 29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️


Preliminary Card

Heavyweight

Andrei ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski (28-19) vs Philipe ‘Monstro’ Lins

Predicted Result: Lins Decision

Arlovski had a chin durability renaissance during 2017-2019, trading decisions in 8 contests before he ran into the hard-hitting Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Lins has several hundred (possibly thousands) less miles on the clock and will likely cruise to a decision in a heavyweight snoozefest.

Result: Arlovski def. Lins // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️


Lightweight (155)

Michael ‘The Menace’ Johnson (19-15) vs Thiago Moisés (12-4)

Predicted Result: Johnson Decision

Johnson was moments away from his first meaningful win in four years before getting caught and subsequently slept in the dying moments of his contest against Josh Emmett. Johnson’s strange record contains wins of true quality (KO of Dustin Poirier, Decision over Edson Barboza) whilst Moisés’ UFC 1-2 career has been nothing but pedestrian. Expect Johnson striking his way to a decision victory.

Result: Moises def. Johnson // Submission (heel hook) Round 2 0:25

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌


Women’s Bantamweight (135)

Sijara ‘Sarj’ Eubanks (4-4) vs Sarah ‘Cheesecake’ Moras (6-5)

Predicted Result: Eubanks Decision

Eubanks is the better all-round fighter, anything but a Eubanks victory would be a surprise. An uninteresting scrap with little meaning for the bantamweight rankings. Perfect time to grab a beer, clear your emails, etc.

Result: Eubanks def. Moras // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️


Bantamweight (135)

Hunter Azure (8-0) vs Brian ‘Boom’ Kelleher (20-10)

Predicted Result: Azure Decision

No longer a spring chicken, Kelleher will have to dig deep in the locker to see off undefeated but unproven Hunter Azure. Azure’s fights commonly go the distance, and the experienced Kelleher will make this an interesting contest. This is a fun fight hidden deep in the prelims.

Result: Kelleher def. Azure // KO (punches) Round 2 3:40

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌


Heavyweight (265)

Chase ‘Vanilla Gorilla’ Sherman (14-6) vs Ike ‘Hurricane’ Villanueva (16-9)

Predicted Result: Sherman TKO 1

Representing the only true heavyweight in this fight, Sherman should prove too powerful for Villanueva. Interestingly, Sherman is returning to the UFC after almost a full year of bare-knuckle bouts in 2019. Expect a sloppy fight with an early finish.

Result: Sherman def. Villanueva // TKO (punches & elbows) Round 2 0:49

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️


Featherweight (155)

Gabriel ‘Moggly’ Benitez (21-7) vs Omar Morales (9-0)

Predicted Result: Benitez Decision

Benitez’s experience should trump the undefeated record of Morales. In a forgotten weight division, this is an easily forgettable fight.

Result: Morales def. Benitez // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️


Prediction Accuracy

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Smith vs Texeria

Winner: 4/10

Method: 7/10

Round: 6/10

Takeaway comments: Michael Johnson out here breaking my heart once again.


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