MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 29, a five-round light heavyweight bout between contenders Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira. The event takes place on Wednesday, May 13 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Anthony Smith (-175)
Smith (33-14) is the No. 3 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The 31-year-old American is 8-4 overall in the UFC including a 4-1 record since moving up to 205lbs. Some of his notable wins include Alexander Gustafsson, Volkan Oezdemir, Mauricio Rua, Rashad Evans, and Hector Lombard. Smith is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the light heavyweight division. On the feet, he has a powerful striking attack and is able to knock his foes out, while on the ground he can submit them. Since moving up to 205lbs, he has been much more durable and his cardio has been stronger as the fight goes on. Out of his 33 career victories, 29 of them have come by stoppage. Smith had a chance to fight Jon Jones in 2019 and it didn’t go well for him, dropping a unanimous decision. But with a few more wins, Smith could very well get another crack at the champion.
Glover Teixeira (+155)
Teixeira (30-7) is the No. 8 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The 40-year-old Brazilian is 13-5 overall in the UFC since his Octagon debut in 2012. Some of his notable wins include Ryan Bader, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jared Cannonier, Nikita Krylov, and Ovince Saint Preux. Teixeira is one of the oldest fighters in the division but he continues to beat father time and is currently riding a three-fight win streak against younger opponents. Teixeira wins his fights by being a well-rounded fighter with solid boxing skills and exceptional ground game. Out of his 30 career wins, 25 of them have come by knockout. Teixeira has always been one of the best light heavyweights in the game but he has never won the title. In his lone title fight against Jones in 2014, he dropped a unanimous decision. But if he keeps on winning fights, he may get a second chance to fight Jones for the belt.
Fight Breakdown: This should be a fun fight between two of the best light heavyweights in the world and it’s a quality main event for this Fight Night card. Both Smith and Teixeira have proven time and time again they are two of the best in the world and I’m expecting them to put on a really good show for the fans. As far as the matchup goes, I have to favor Smith here. The first thing that stands out to me is the age difference, 40 to 31. Even though Teixeira has been beating younger fighters, Smith is a superior opponent to Teixeira’s last few foes. As impressive as he’s looked as of late, age will eventually catch up to Teixeira. As he gets older his chin and durability will weaken, and I believe that will be the case here. In an exciting fight, I see Smith taking the fight to deep waters and eventually hurting Teixeira and putting him away with strikes for a TKO victory.
Prediction: Anthony Smith wins via TKO