3 Reasons to Bet Smith to Beat Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 171

Smith vs Teixeira
Smith vs Teixeira headlines UFC Fight Night 171 on Wednesday, May 13th.
  • Anthony Smith vs Glover Teixeira takes place on Wednesday, May 13th, at 9:00 PM ET
  • Which of these top 205-pounders will log his first victory of 2020?
  • Check out the odds, analysis, and three key reasons to wager on Smith emerging victorious

Anthony “Lionheart” Smith vs  Glover Teixeira headlines UFC Fight Night 171 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL, on Wednesday night (9:00 PM ET). The early prelims will be broadcast on UFC Fight pass, while the main card  airs on ESPN+ in the United State and TSN5 in Canada.

Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira are set to collide in the main event. The bout will do a lot to determine what the light-heavyweight upper echelon looks like for 2020. While Smith has a 1-1 record in 2019 and Teixeira is coming in on a three-fight win streak, that does little to tell the story of this one.

Smith vs Teixeira Odds

Fighter Odds
Anthony Smith -190
Glover Teixeira +155

Odds taken on May 12th.

Reason #1: The Young Lion(heart)

Even at age 31, Smith is one of the younger guys in terms of top 205-pounders, especially compared to the 40-year-old Teixeira. Both men are former title contenders but if pundits were polled on who is more likely to get a second crack at the crown, the answer would unequivocally be Anthony Smith.

Smith has top-five caliber victories over Alexander Gustafsson and Volkan Oezdemir bookending a loss to divisional GOAT Jon Jones. Teixeira has that aforementioned three-fight win streak but all three wins came against opponents outside of the top 15 (Karl Roberson, Ion Cuțelaba, and Nikita Krylov).

Smith is simply at a point in his career where he’s going to be that much quicker, more nimble, and more athletic than Teixeira.

Reason #2: Smith’s Submission Game

A worthwhile aspect of this fight to examine is the submission grappling acumen of Smith, who has 12 submissions across 33 career victories. Smith’s last two victories came via submission and were scored over two former title challengers. He finished both Oezdemir (Oct. 2018) and Gustafsson (Jun. 2019) by rear-naked choke.

Although Teixeira has never been submitted in his near 40-fight MMA career, it’s not impossible that Smith will make the Brazilian tap. It’s certainly not a laughable notion as some might infer.

I think the confidence Smith has from tapping out top-five level light-heavyweights is warranted. Teixeira is a dangerous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and is one of the division’s more dangerous submission artists, himself. I’m certainly not trying to trivialize the task of mapping him, but a sequence where Smith rocks Glover on the feet and follows up with a submission in a subsequent scramble is within the realm of possibility.

Reason #3: Smith Is More Versatile

As solid as Smith’s submission grappling is, his striking may even be a touch better, at least in terms of eliciting finishes; 18 of Smith’s 33 career wins are by KO or TKO. His aptitude for striking is evidenced in his emergence on the UFC’s light-heavyweight scene. Lionheart moved from 185 to 205 with emphatic first-round KOs over former UFC light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Smith was in the cage for less than two and a half minutes across those two devastating wins.

Lionheart‘s ability to blend disciplines is what will give him the edge. He truly has a comprehensive game and can fluidly undulate between a kickboxing exchange and a double-leg takedown.

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