UFC Fight Night 61 Opening Odds Breakdown: Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira UFC Fight Night 61: Evans vs. Teixeira Date: February 22, 2015 Location: Proto Algere, Brazil Venue: Ginasio Gigantinho Broadcast: FS1 UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Rashad Evans Former UFC light heavyweight champion and winner of The Ultimate Fighter 2, Rashad Evans (19-3-1) has been one of the more recognizable faces in the UFC over the last half-decade. Evans is a true professional of the sport and helped pioneer the next level of MMA training alongside Keith Jardine at Jackson and Winkeljohn’s gym in Alburqurque, New Mexico. He knocked out Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell and had a nearly spotless record before losing his belt to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98. After his loss, he won four in a row, earning his shot at the title he lost, then turned in lackluster performances against champion Jon Jones and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in losses, and then disappointed in a split-decision win over Dan Henderson. But Evans bounced back and looked like his old self against Chael Sonnen at UFC 167, beating him in the first round by TKO (punches). It was former training partner Jones who caused a rift between him and Jackson, leading Evans to form the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Florida with Tyrone Spong and Vitor Belfort, among others. Evans has a dominating style of MMA wrestling to complement his ever-evolving striking, and overall is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the weight class, and he’s still is one of the most dangerous vets in the 205 division. Despite being slightly undersized for a light heavyweight at 5-foot-11, he is massively powerful, although his best days could already be behind him at the age of 35. At UFC FN 61 he’ll take on Glover Teixeira and with a win, Evans will be right back in the title picture. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Glover Teixeira When people talk about the next big thing at light heavyweight in the UFC, the name Glover Teixeira (22-4) comes up every time. With a black belt in BJJ and fists that have delivered him 13 knockouts in his 22 wins, Teixeira is the real deal and can bring the fight anywhere. He was on a 20-fight winning streak and garnering increased attention as a true contender in the UFC light heavyweight division following dominant wins over Kyle Kingsbury (submission) Fabio Maldonado (TKO), Quinton Jackson (unanimous decision) and Ryan Bader (KO). He got his chance to fight for the belt when he took on Jon Jones at UFC 172, and while he took the champ the distance, he lost a decision. He then fought Phil Davis at UFC 179 and lost another decision, giving him two losses in a row. However, he is still an incredible dangerous fighter, and at 35 years of age his time as one of the division’s best is not over. He is being given a difficult stylistic fight against Evans now, but if he fights smart he can win the fight, and a victory would keep him fully entrenched amongst the division’s elite talent. Opening UFC Fight Night 61 Main Event Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Evans a -165 favorite (bet $165 to win $100) while Teixeira opened as a +125 underdog (bet $100 to win $125) at Several Bookmakers. This is an excellent light heavyweight matchup between two of the top-10 205lbers in the world. Evans has not fought in well over a year since his drubbing of Chael Sonnen at UFC 167, while Teixeira had an awful 2014, losing back-to-back fights to Jon Jones and Phil Davis. Evans will enter this fight on a two-fight win streak and Teixeira on a two-fight losing streak, but even with that in mind this is still a good fight. Both men have experience fighting Jones for the title, both men have gone five rounds before, both guys have great boxing and takedown defence, and both fighters need a win badly to remain relevant in the division. Because of his down year, Teixeira is the underdog in this one, but with home-field advantage and with so much motivation to get a big win, he’s most certainly a live dog in this spot.

Written by Adam Martin.

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