UFC 160 Opening Odds Breakdown: Light Heavyweights Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna

James Te HunaUFC 160: May 25, 2013 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Glover Teixeira (-300) Profile: When people talk about the next big thing at light heavyweight in the UFC, the names Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira (20-2) come up every time. The 33-year-old Brazilian Teixeira trains out of the famed Pit, where such notable fighters as Tim Kennedy, Bobby Southworth, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell have learned their craft over the years. With a black belt in BJJ and fists that have delivered him 12 knockouts in his 20 wins, Teixeira is the real deal and can bring the fight anywhere. He is currently on a 18-fight winning streak and garnering increased attention as a true contender in the suddenly-murky UFC light heavyweight division following dominant wins over Kyle Kingsbury (arm-triangle choke submission), Fabio Maldonado (TKO) and Quinton Jackson (unanimous decision) in his first three fights within the organization. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender James Te Huna (+220) Profile: James Te Huna (16-5) has won four straight fights at light heavyweight in the UFC and 10 of 11 overall, with his only loss during that stretch coming against rising star Alexander Gustafsson. He is 5-1 in the UFC, and two of his last four opponents have been knockout victims (Ricardo Romero and Aaron Rosa). The 31-year-old New Zealand native won the Cage Fighting Championship Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals in 2009 before signing a contract with the UFC in 2010. He won his UFC debut against Igor Pokrajac via TKO before falling to Gustafsson by rear-naked choke submission at UFC 127, his first setback since losing to Hector Lombard in 2007. Te Huna is coming off  consecutive unanimous decision wins over Joey Beltran and Ryan Jimmo in his last two bouts and will be stepping up in competition against Teixeira at UFC 160 as an injury replacement for Ryan Bader. Opening UFC 160 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Teixeira a big -300 favorite (bet $300 to win $100) while Te Huna opened as a +220 underdog (bet $100 to win $220) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. Teixeira opened as a smaller favorite (-260) against his original opponent Bader (+180), who quite simply has fought better competition at this stage of his career than Te Huna. There is a bit of an unknown factor when it comes to the New Zealander even though he has been solid in the UFC so far. Gustafsson is the only real top-level opponent he has faced, and that turned out to be his lone loss. At the same time, Teixeira has not exactly been matched up with elite opponents either in his brief stint with the organization. Both fighters have a lot to prove and need to keep winning in order to keep climbing the light heavyweight rankings. Each possesses significant knockout power, with 22 of their 36 combined wins ending by TKO/KO. But the key to this fight could likely be who lands more punches and uses the better offensive strategy over three rounds to win over the judges because it may very well go the distance.

Written by Matty

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Glover Teixeira vs James Te Huna – UFC 160 Statistical Analysis and Pick