Embed from Getty Images
The Main-event comes in the Light Heavyweight division, as the Champion Glover Teixeira makes his first title defense against challenger Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka. An unlikely Championship run, Teixeira at 42 years young, became the oldest first time Champion in UFC history. Having won six straight, Teixeira clearly hasn’t met father time. Meanwhile, Prochazka comes into this fight on a twelve-fight win streak. With only two of those wins coming inside the distance, Prochazka has certainly caught the attention of the UFC to be granted this title shot. One that I personally am fine with.
Debuting in 2012, at 32 years old, Teixeira quickly made him presence known and challenged Jon Jones for the title in 2014. Unsuccessful, Teixeira would be a perennial top contender, who just couldn’t win the important fight to get himself back in position to via another title shot. Thinking his prime may have been wasted due to a visa issue, Teixeira would do the unthinkable. With gas left in the tank and the perfect storm of Jon Jones vacating the title, Teixeira would rattle off five straight wins and challenge for the title. A successful challenge at that, as Teixeira submitted Jan Blachowicz to become the oldest first time Champion in UFC history at 42. A well rounded fighter, Teixeira can be described as a boxer who has excellent wrestling, grappling and submission abilities. Having largely banked on taking opponents down during this streak, Teixeira has stopped five opponents – four of which came via submission.
Despite being out for over a year, Prochazka shouldn’t be hampered by any rust. A frantic fighter, who looks to blitzkrieg opponents, Prochazka is a scary opponent to face. While he does leave openings to get cracked, more often than not, he’s the one who has done the cracking. Backed by twenty-five knockout victories, twenty of which came in round one, Prochazka game is pretty simple – knock my opponent out early. With a clear speed advantage and athleticism, there is a chance that Prochazka looks like Sonic out there with Teixeira.
As for a prediction, I’m going with Teixeira. Despite being at a slight height and size disadvantage, as well as lacking the speed, athleticism and striking output that Prochazka brings forth, Teixeira has proven that all he needs is one takedown to change the complexation of a fight. Given Prochazka came into the UFC with some takedown defense concerns, and has been rather untested in that department in two fights inside the octagon, I feel like Teixeira can absolutely capitalize on that. Having endured punishment in several fights during this winning streak, I’m not saying Teixeira can afford to eat shots, but he has proven that he can overcome trouble and get the fight to mat. So with all that said, give me the 42 year old Teixeira to win via submission.