- 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
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.
“Anthony Smith is just younger, hungrier, fresher, sharper, has taken on better talent.”@JimmySmithMMA joined #FollowTheMoney to preview Wednesday nights fight between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira.@MitchMossRadio @PaulyHoward @MattYoumans247 pic.twitter.com/jQtiiEFpFY
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) May 11, 2020
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.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) May 13, 2020
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
— UFC (@ufc) May 12, 2020
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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