This Saturday perennial contender Glover Teixeira attempts to capture gold in what he and many believe to be his last opportunity in his long and storied MMA career. The soon to be 42 year old takes on the defending 205 champ as he faces Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267.
Striking: Jan Blachowicz
Both fighters have shown time after time that their striking should be feared and respected. The aforementioned champion has become something of an enigma as his “legendary Polish power” has been in full display his last 5 fights with knockouts over names like Luke Rockhold, Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson, and of course his latest fight where he went a full 5 rounds against arguably one of the best strikers in Israel Adesanya. I believe Jan possesses better kickboxing and could focus many of his strikes on the legs of Glover. His opponent, of course, is no slouch as he was once the Mike Tyson of the division, and rightly so. In 32 fights Glover has scored 18 KO’s. He has worked to become a more skilled boxer and not just a brawler, he possesses amazing physical strength and knowledge that makes him such a dangerous fighter.
Grappling: Glover Teixeira
Teixeira is a black belt in BJJ and has as many career subs (9) as the champion. He has scored 3 of them in his last 5 as he tapped names like Karl Roberson, Ion Cutellaba, and Thiago Santos. He is more of a threat when he smothers his opponents from the top and is raining down blows but is still strong enough to pull a submission against top-level competition. As for the Champion we have seen him turn what was once thought as a weakness into a strength, he has used his wrestling ability to maintain position and control his opponents. His last submission win came against Nikita Krylov in 2018.
While both fighters are up there in terms of age (Jan 38) (Glover 42) we have seen the champion turn the clock back and become the athlete he seemed to not be early on in his career. He has shown the poise and determination to elevate his skills each time, and in the Adesanya fight showed no signs of gassing out even though he was the larger fighter, and while he has only been to two decisions in his last 5 Jan continues to show no lack of cardio. Glover has also shown to have an endless gas tank and is able to keep up his pace no matter how long the fight goes. He has however been KO’d in the past by slick boxing, accuracy, and of course power. All of which the champ possesses.
Prediction: Jan Blachowicz retains belt by 2nd round TKO.