Power vs Chin. What else is there to say?
UFC Fight Night 182: Santos vs Teixeira Predictions & Results
Big Chunguses? Big Chungi? Regardless, the big lads are hogging the Main Event and Co-Main Event limelight for UFN 183. Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeria are duelling for the position of number one Light Heavyweight contender, but will have to wait for Jan Błachowicz to face Middleweight upstart, Israel Adesanya. Teixeira has been around since the Big Bang, but has managed to reinvent himself over the past two years. What was once a slick grappler, Teixeira has now adopted the ‘Homer Simpson’ tactic of eating everything his opponent throws before grinding down their exhausted remains. While unadvisable for the health of a forty-one-year-old man, Teixeira’s chin has remained granite-like since his fifth-round beatdown by Alexander Gustafsson. Teixeira had better plaster actual concrete on jaw if he wishes to eat the power of Thiago Santos. Strap yourselves in lads, this could be a brutally heart-breaking finish.
Moving up in weight but dropping down in class, Andrei Arlovski and Tanner Boser face-off in what will likely be a three-round stare-off. Nine decisions in his last ten fights, Arlovski has slowly but surely shredding apart his once-great career. No longer viewed as the all-action UFC Heavyweight knockout artist, Arlovski may now be more memorable as the ancient gatekeeper to the prestigious Heavyweight rankings. Tanner Boser, on the other hand, has been flying high since his three-round whooping to Ciryl Gane. A shock first-round icing of Philipe Lins and a strange second-round stoppage over the muffin-topped, Raphael Pessoa, Boser finds himself knocking on the door of the rankings. Arlovski is hard to hit frequently with significant shots while Boser is happy to chip away at opponents with volume; this could be a feather-fisted stinker.
There are a handful of great match-ups across the rest of the card, alongside a couple of mismatches. Gadelha vs Yan is a perfect crossroads fight. Gadelha has struggled her way through the past few years while Yan has slowly stepped up her competition since her UFC debut in 2017. Heinisch vs Allen is a Middleweight battle which will push the victor into the rankings and towards a money fight. Also, while probably not to the finer tastes of many, the heavyweight brawl between Romanov and Rogério de Lima should be sloppy fun on the feet and ground. In terms of fairly dangerous match-making, Giga Chikadze should decapitate his regional opponent, Jamey Simmons. Cool afro and striking style aside, Simmons will have to bank on his power scaling to the UFC quality if he wants to engage in a striking war with Chikadze.
Light Heavyweight (205)
Thiago Santos (21-7) vs Glover Teixeira (31-7)
Thiago Santos has been his own worst enemy for much of his career. It is all well and good piling on a long streak of wins over decent opposition, but to routinely fall at the ‘gatekeeper’ level has limited the progression of the Brazilian power striker. Since a devastating first-round loss to David Branch, Santos moved up to Light Heavyweight and tightened up his ground game to benefit his striking. Sounds weird right? But with a stronger TDD and scrambles, Santos can now perform riskier kicks more often and with greater spite (if that were possible). There is no doubt that Santos can hit hard. If it were not for the ridiculous volume of injuries sustained during the Jon Jones title fight, Santos could have troubled Jones’ chin during the later rounds. Still though, Santos has a crushing third-round stoppage over the current LHW champion, Jan Błachowicz, and a win over Glover Teixeira would leave him number one contender.
Glover Teixeira’s career revival has been one for the ages. The forty-year-old had looked off the pace against Corey Anderson and on the edge of a hard decline. Prospect after prospect was sent by the UFC to force their veteran into retirement, but Teixeira crushed Ion Cutelaba and Karl Roberson in just three rounds total. Despite a shaky split decision victory over Nikita Krylov, Teixeira showed his class against former title challenger, Anthony Smith, as he quite literally beat his teeth out. The secret behind Teixeira’s success? Just eat shots fam, lol. The durability of Tex is beyond reason. Able to eat a ridiculous amount of firepower, Teixeira is able to turn up the pace after a punishing first round as the physical playing field is levelled with an exhausted opponent.
Teixeira is a decent boxer, and packs a heavy punch when he lands a short counter, but it isn’t on the same stratosphere as Santos. Athletic advantages in the striking departments separates the two by quite a distance. Rather than bank on his chin in the pocket, Teixeira should be targeting to drag Santos to the ground as soon as possible. Teixeira’s crushing top game can certainly test the skillset of Santos, and that isn’t to say that Text wouldn’t be able to secure a submission after a couple rounds of beatdown.
Predicted Result: Santos TKO Round 2
I really like Teixeira, but his strategy involves him taking too much damage directly to his chin. Sure, Cutelaba and Anthony Smith can hit somewhat hard, but they are nowhere near the lethality of Santos’ power. Santos has beaten incredibly durable fighters into submission before (Eryk Anders), while also turning off the lights of elite opposition (Jack Hermansson, Jan Błachowicz). There has been a long enough stretch for the Brazilian to have recovered from his injuries, and I can’t see how he doesn’t eventually crack Teixeira’s chin.
Result: Teixeira def. Santos // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3 1:49
Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Andrei Arlovski (29-19) vs Tanner Boser (19-6-1)
It is okay to groan when you now see Andrei Arlovski’s name pop up on a card. There isn’t any killer instinct left in the Belarusian. Standing tall and striking from distance, Arlovski picks his shots tentatively. In regards to technique, Arlovski has transformed himself into one of the more polished operators in division. Long straight shots and occasional body kicks, Arlovski engages in point fighting which aims to secure a W on the scorecards. On the odd occasion that Arlovski breaks his composure and lunges into a shot, it is the athleticism of the opponent countering that kills Arlovski (Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Francis N’Gannou). In terms of grappling, good luck with taking Arlovski down. The man may as well be an everlasting Soviet statue that stands stoically for the test of time.
Tanner Boser has been making a name for himself in a barren division. A loveable Canadian mullet, Boser brings an intensity to his striking volume that is unseen amongst most 265-ers. Arlovski represents the first veteran test of Boser’s career and will be unable to overwhelm his opponent as he was in his last two fights. Arlovski will remain calm under the tippy-tappy strikes of Boser, and will be able to trade leg kicks when Boser throws. Boser is hittable and surely has a technical ceiling, even at Heavyweight, but his cardio and volume will be enough to claw his way to a scrappy decision.
Predicted Result: Boser Decision
This fight could be really, really ugly. Arlovski is horribly defensive while Boser’s power remains questionable. Boser has the physical ability to slip in and out the pocket, picking away at Arlovski like a bird of Prey, while he waits for a counter but his age leaves him unable to land.
Result: Arlovski def. Boser // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Raoni Barcelos (15-1) vs Khalid Taha (13-2)
Barcelos is shaping up to be a fine Bantamweight despite his thirty-five year age bogging him down. The golden oldie hits real hard, and is willing to shift his striking between head and body. Barcelos hits in a manner that you wouldn’t expect for a Bantamweight, he hits really really hard. What makes Barcelos more of a killer, though, is his fantastic submission game. Adequate wrestling is enough for Barcelos to pressure his opponent to the mat before the Brazilian lays into his opponent.
Khalid Taha is an alright prospect, but it is strange to have him thrown to the wolves against Barcelos. Barely inspiring during his past three fights with the UFC, Taha has shown a decent power boxing game which relies on counter hooks to damage opponents. While Taha has the striking defence to evade the best of Barcelos’ power, he will eventually find himself suffocated onto the mat, and has not yet revealed the grappling ability necessary to prevent utter Barcelos domination.
Predicted Result: Barcelos Submission Round 3
Surely a win for Barcelos on Saturday would be enough to finally push the Brazilian towards the rankings. Barcelos’ power striking, competent wrestling and incredible submission game should leave Taha beaten on all fronts.
Result: Barcelos def. Taha // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Ian Heinisch (14-3) vs Brendan Allen (15-3)
This is as equal a match-up as you could hope for. Both men are limited in their technical ability, but are propelled by their athleticism. Heinisch was blocked from clawing his way into the Middleweight rankings by gatekeepers Derek Brunson and Omari Akhmedov. Heinisch was not embarrassed, but he was out-classed on the feet by the two wrestlers. Of note, however, was Heinisch’s comfort in preventing the two men from securing a takedown or keeping him on the mat for long. Moreover, Heinisch was able to find the odd takedown himself but was unable to capitalise with his usually powerful top game. A first-round knockout of Gerald Merrschaert before it was the cool thing to do says little about the improvements that Heinisch has brought to his game.
Brendan Allen is a solid fighter who relies heavily on his strong submission game. While Allen is no slouch on the feet, he is robotic in his telegraphed strikes and could easily be overawed by the intensity of a volume striker. While defeating Kyle Daukaus last time out, Allen began to gas hard with the pressure from Daukaus. Heinisch brings a similar volume, with the added benefits of enhanced power and a crippling wrestling game.
Predicted Result: Heinisch Decision
With an athletic advantage and crisper distance striking, Allen should technically be able to keep Heinisch sweet on the feet. More likely, the intense volume striking and pressure of Heinisch will force Allen to expend a lot of energy early. With Allen gassed during the later rounds, Heinisch will be able to incorporate his dominant wrestling with less threat from Allen’s submission game.
Result: 🚫 FIGHT CANCELLED 🚫
Women’s Strawweight (115)
Claudia Gadelha (18-4) vs Xiaonan Yan (12-1)
Sadly, this will be the fight that will decide if former title contender, Claudia Gadelha, is indeed toasted. Arguably losing her last fight against Angela Hill, Gadelha is simply not conditioned enough to fight for three rounds. It is all well and good to look supreme in the first round, securing takedowns at will and holding your opponent down with ease. But to then struggle through the next two rounds with limp takedown attempts and sloppy power striking, is not enough to justify your elite ranking at Strawweight.
Uh oh. Xiaonan Yan is an absolute pace machine. Not exactly the hardest hitter, Yan instead pours her entire offence into volume and intensity. Yan is a fighter that out-worked Angela Hill on the feet, God damn. If Yan is able to avoid the takedown early, or more likely, not get submitted in the first round, then she can drain Gadelha for the next two rounds.
Predicted Result: Yan Decision
Gadelha has the stronger resume and certainly an incredible advantage in the grappling department, but her conditioning issues will be her ultimate downfall. Yan is a cardio freak, and if she can avoid being stopped in the first round, she will only have to worry about the odd power counter strike by Gadelha for the remainder of the fight.
Result: Yan def. Gadelha // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Giga Chikadze (11-2) vs Jamey Simmons (7-2)
Chikadze is a certified boi at this point. He is a slick kickboxer who is willing to perform outrageous strikes that has incredibly somehow, so far, been unable to secure a stoppage. Irwin Rivera and Omar Morales both showed incredible recovery after Chikadze beat them black and blue. Perhaps the Simmons match-up has simply just been made for a Chikadze highlight reel?
Simmons can bang, to be sure, but his technique is all over the place. While unorthodox power crushes opponents at the regional level, Chikadze is a smooth operator who will be able to pick apart the wild strikes of Simmons.
Predicted Result: Chikadze TKO Round 2
Simmons is a regional fighter who is kill or be killed with his sloppy power striking. Chikadze is a fabulously polished kickboxer who has picked apart decent UFC level competition. Chikadze can be hit, sure, but not often enough for Simmons to be considered a threat.
Result: Chikadze def. Simmons // TKO (head kick and punches) Round 1 3:51
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
Trevin Giles (12-2) vs Bevon Lewis (7-2)
Giles is a fun fighter to watch as he is more than willing to throw himself into compromising positions to secure a finish. Comfortable on the ground, Giles is comfortable off of his back, as well as controlling from the top. Despite his smaller size, Giles is more than happy to engage on the feet by bull-rushing with swarming hooks.
Bevon Lewis was a couple of minutes away from the biggest W of his career before Uriah Hall slept him with a counter straight. Since then, Lewis has only been able to win once against Dequan Townsend. A striker through and through, it is infuriating then to see Lewis happy to fight in the pocket and engage in clinches. His massive frame would be best used on the outside at distance, and when Lewis can crack this, he will be a genuine threat.
Predicted Result: Giles Decision
Lewis may have honed his craft over 2020 and began to use his length to his advantage with distance striking. More likely, Lewis will continue to willingly walk into the clinch, in which Giles can secure an easy takedown and ride to a decision win.
Result: Giles def. Lewis // TKO (punches) Round 3 1:26
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Marcos Rogério de Lima (17-6-1) vs Alexander Romanov (12-0)
Rogério de Lima probably doesn’t deserve his UFC spot anymore. Victories over the scraps of Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight, de Lima remains due to his first-round stoppage oven Ben Sosoli. Sosoli, not fearing the power of the Brazilian, ran in with his chin up and paid the price. Technically decent, de Lima knows his conditioning limits and is willing to throw it all to find a finish.
Lemme just say, I love Alexander Romanov. Whether its his big ol belly, the two round whopping he put on Roque Martinez, or the victory rag-dolling of his coach, I am unsure. But Romanov brings a Dan Severn style of fighting back to Heavyweight. Solely searching to secure the takedown, once on the mat, Romanov will weigh onto his opponents and drop bombs. His willingness to beat opponents with GnP allowed Martinez to escape on occasion, but the gas tank of Romanov held up as he was able to re-secure takedowns with ease.
Predicted Result: Romanov TKO Round 1
Romanov is a hilariously limited fighter with a sketchy record, but his style of fighting should be more than enough to handle the ancient bones of de Lima.
Result: Romanov def. de Lima // Submission (forearm choke) Round 1 4:48
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ✔️
Darren Elkins (24-9) vs Eduardo Garagorri (13-1)
Darren Elkins has had one of those careers where his brain will be donated to science and they will discover the devastating impact of combat sports. Until then, Elkins will continue to engage in bloodbaths to the death in the Featherweight division. A gas tank that never fails, Elkins seeks to out-endure opponents and drag them into a slug-fest in the pocket.
Garagorri finally secures a middling fight in the UFC after his previous two fights coming from opposite ends of the spectrum. A simple decision victory over regional fighter, Humberto Bandenay, was exposed by the first-round submission loss to Ricardo Ramos. While Garagorri won’t have to face the grappling quality of a Ramos, he will still struggle with the constant threat from Elkins.
Predicted Result: Elkins Decision
Elkins is fairly broken at this point, but he has always been able to thrive despite his clear limitations. Garagorri is a green fighter who has no real experience at the top level, ignoring his first-round capitulation to Ricardo Ramos. Elkins oozes quality in comparison, and will be able to dominate in the grappling department.
Result: Elkins def. Garagorri // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3 2:22
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Max Griffin (15-8) vs Ramiz Brahimaj (8-2)
Max Griffin could never win a match again, and he would still feel happy with his grudge match victory over Zelim Imadaev. Despite an awful 3-6 UFC record, Griffin has decision wins over the undefeated Imadaev and Mike Perry. Griffin is a powerful striker who has gas tank issues, eased a little by enhanced wrestling picked up over the years.
Debutant, Ramiz Brahimaj, is a power wrestler who applies an early striking flurry to shoot straight into a takedown. A first-round fighter through and through, if Griffin can keep himself safe for the first five minutes, he should be able to cruise his way to a W.
Predicted Result: Griffin TKO Round 3
Brahimaj is a first-round power wrestler who expends it all in search of a submission. At the regional level this has sufficed, but against a quality experienced opponent in Max Griffin, he will be punished hard on the feet in the remaining two rounds.
Result: Griffin def. Brahimah // TKO (doctor stoppage) Round 3 2:03
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Gustavo Lopez (11-5) vs Anthony Birchak (15-6)
Lopez is a brutal striker who loves to stand in the pocket, break opponents, and then submit their corpse moments later. Dominated by Merab Dvalishvili in his UFC debut, Lopez faces less stiff opposition in former UFC Bantamweight, Anthony Birchak. Another fighter who prefers to duke it out in the pocket before taking his opponent, this fight should be fireworks.
Predicted Result: Lopez Round 2 TKO
Both men are proficient enough on the ground to avoid a submission, but Lopez is the younger man with an extra sting in his punch. Also, Birchak has taken this fight on four days notice – uh oh.
Result: Lopez def. Birchak // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1 2:43
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
UFC Fight Night 182: Santos vs Teixeira
2020 MMA Season
Takeaway comments: Reyes and Santos losses exposing Jones a little?