UFC is providing plenty of mouth-watering encounters on this week’s edition of UFC Fight Night which will take place out of the Apex Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira is just one of many enthralling fights scattered throughout the card. We take a look at a few of the match ups below in this week’s UFC preview.
Sadly, Teixeira’s resurgence will come to an abrupt end here at the hands of his fellow Brazilian Thiago Santos. Teixeira’s win in his last fight over Anthony Smith was more so a woeful Smith display rather than a Teixeira masterclass. Teixeira has quality wrestling, but he has slowed down as his career has progressed and at 41 years old, he is in his twilight of his career. While still solid, Thiago Santos doesn’t have the lack of wrestling, glass jaw or lack of a gas tank required for Teixeira to come out victorious.
Thiago Santos returns for the first time since his gallant decision loss to Jon Jones. Before that he beat now Light Heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz in dominant fashion and stopped both Eryk Anders and Jimi Manuwa. Santos mixes his wrestling in with strikes well and has raw power in his hands that can put any man down. I am surprised Santos isn’t a more prohibitive favourite here as he should put Teixeira away without much trouble. I expect Santos to be the next Light Heavyweight champion and a dominant display here will put him right back in contention for UFC gold.
Gadelha has truly been at the top of the heap for some time now but hasn’t been as convincing of late. She won a razor close decision over Angela Hill in her last fight and although she is still up there with the best in the division, I could not be more impressed by Yan Xiaonan. Xiaonan beat Angela Hill in her UFC debut back in June last year in impressive fashion and backed it up piecing apart Karolina Kowalkiewicz back in February this year. That performance is what got my attention. She outstruck and outwrestled the Polish woman in incredible style. If Xiaonan has come on from that again then she gets the win here and could cause her fellow Chinese counterpart Weili Zhang some real problems. No knock on Gadelha but she must get it to the mat repeatedly and I just can’t see that happening. Follow Xiaonan in this and beyond.
Garagorri was brought back to earth in his last fight losing to Ricardo Ramos after getting a win in his UFC debut. Realistically Garagorri has only won against very average fighters so far in his career and even Elkins on a terrible 4 fight skid should be too much for the one-dimensional Garagorri. Darren Elkins issues with scar tissue is a major problem at this stage in his career as he is cut open by anything, much like Nate Diaz. Darren Elkins though is incredibly durable, and this matchup is ideal for Elkins. Elkins is the more polished striker, can take a shot well and can impose his wrestling at will up against the cage. As long as Elkins shows anything close to what he is capable of he beats the very average Garagorri who’s only real avenue of victory is an early flash knock out. This will be a bit of a boring, messy watch but one which we can profit off nonetheless.
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