The ESPN group, consisting of Ariel Helvani, Brett Okamoto, Mark Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim, will on Saturday tell the biggest stories of the UFC Fight Night card, including a look at Glover Teixeira’s third round performance of Thiago Santos and what it means.
If you had asked me eight days ago who would be the next winner of the main tournament in Glover Teixeira against Thiago Santos on Saturday, the answer would not have made sense:
This would of course be the light and heavyweight champion, Jan Blachovic.
All UFC Fighting Night fights: Santos versus Teixeira will be broadcast on ESPN+.
– Thiago Santos vs Glover Teixeira- Andrei Arlovsky vs Tanner Bosser- Raoni Barcellos vs Khalid Taha-Giga Chikadze vs Jamie Simmons- Claudia Gadelia vs Yang Xiaonan- Trevin Giles vs Thiago Santos vs Glover Teixeira- Claudia Gadelia vs Yang Xiaonan- Trevin Giles vs Khalid Taha. Bevon Lewis-Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs Alexander Romanov-Darren Elkins vs Eduardo Garagorri-Max Griffin vs Ramiz Brahimaya-Anthony Birchak vs Gustavo Lopez
See the complete map on ESPN+.
Take it easy. Take it easy.
That’s because exactly seven days ago, UFC president Dana White said that Blakhovic would defend his heavyweight title next year against Israeli middleweight champion Adezania.
Following this unveiling, both Adeshan and Blakhovich have let us know over the weekend that they will probably meet in the first quarter of 2021, although the battle has not yet been signed.
In fact, the timing of this news distracted much of the interest from the battle that should have been fought for the number one candidate on Saturday night. On paper, the battle was still great, but the stakes were considerably reduced.
And it’s a shame, especially when you see what happened at the end.
Make no mistake: Teixeira deserves to fight for his belt next time. He won five battles in a row, and four of those five victories came to the finish.
I heard him, I agree with him and I take him seriously.
After the show #UFCVegas13 @danawhite @laura_sanko tells that he heard @gloverteixeira calling for the title fight and that he was not mistaken. Picture.twitter.com/qX3JokLm2r
– ESPN MMA (@espnmma) 8. November 2020
In the first lap it looked like he would be eliminated soon, but in Teixeira’s style he had weathered the storm early on, pushed back another big storm in the third lap and turned everything upside down to crush the striking Santos by the rear starter.
What a fight! What a victory.
If last week’s announcement hadn’t been made, the entire MMA community, which rarely agrees on anything, would certainly have been united by the idea that Teixeira should fight Blahovic from the sidelines.
To be honest, I think that despite the announcement of Blakhovich-Adesan they are somehow right. And what a story that would be.
Teixeira, 41, fights for the title some seven years after losing his first and only title match to John Jones in Baltimore in UFC 172. The defeat was Teixeira’s remarkable 20-game winning streak and given the one-sided nature of the battle and the dominance of Jones’ light heavyweights, it seemed that Teixeira would miss the title battle again.
The risk seemed even greater when Teixeira lost his next fight against Phil Davis and was then eliminated by Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson.
I remember thinking the end was right after Gustafsson Koch. Teixeira has been seriously injured.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Glover Teixeira won his fifth straight on Saturday and defeated Thiago Santos. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa Ltd.
But, as Texhira reminded us after his victory on Saturday, and as the great Rocky Balboa said, the question is not whether you can be hit hard, but whether you can be hit hard and continue.
Teixeira continues to make progress. But where’s he going?
Suppose the UFC is locked in the case of Blachowitsch v. Adezania. Say Adezagna wins. He either goes back to 185 or fights with John Jones, right? What will become of Teixeira? This scenario would be a nightmare for him because time is not on his side at his age.
Let’s say that in March or April they’ll march with Blachowitsch against Adezania. And to think that Blakhovich is winning. I suppose they could have a fight in the late summer of 2021 or something. Teixeira will be about 42 years old by then. It doesn’t seem fair to him, although I doubt he complains despite strong arguments.
Don’t forget that Teixeira’s debut at the UFC has been delayed for years due to visa problems. A man knows a bit about patience. It would have been good if his patience and perseverance had been rewarded, especially after his victory on Saturday, but maybe he hadn’t had any luck yet.
Unfortunately, in this game the good guys – and no one is better than Teixeira – do not always get what they deserve.
If everything goes according to plan, who will be next for Teixeira after his fifth consecutive victory? Is Alexander Rakich’s fourth place enough for anyone? Hard to sell, isn’t it? In the end, we don’t know, but the best answer is nonsense.
Who had the best result on Saturday night?
Fault! The file name is not specified. – set
Giga Chikadze welcomed Jamie Simmons into the UFC with a hard blow to the head, which quickly ended the fight in the first round.
Lots of choice on Saturdays. Just as well. One of a kind. Forearm grazed by heavyweight Alexander Romanov? The first since July 1997! Max Griffin almost cut Ramiz Brahimaj’s ear off with his elbow? Darren Elkins with the indispensable naked back choking on the third round? (Fight that I think he was about to lose if he hadn’t finished it). It’s not every day you get a degree. I have to say, and I think it’ll be a piece of cake, but for me it’s a Gigi Chikadze hit on Jamie Simmons’ head. And I say that because that’s definitely the most exciting thing… because it was a Chicadze who lived up to his teasing potential.
There’s a reason the UFC included this guy in the Dana White challenger series in 2018, and there’s a reason they included him only a year after he appeared, even though he lost the show. He’s very talented. He was the biggest favorite to bet on a Saturday ticket, so he had to do something exciting. And he did. That blow to the head, and the moments before he put it there were beautiful… and hopefully a sign of what’s to come. And then he repeats it and asks for a match with Jeremy Stevens, despite all the violence? We all agree, Giga.
The UFC could lead the battle for the Chinese championship title in 2021.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Yan Xiaonan, right, impressed by her fight against Chinese UFC star Zhang Weiley in the UFC Women’s Light and Heavyweight Championship. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa Ltd.
In the UFC department, the weight of the straw was already very interesting. And now this: Another great Chinese fighter, Yan Xiaonan, has risen in the rankings. Ian beat Claudia Gadelia’s always strong decision on Saturday night, and now 6-0 at the UFC. January, 8th in the ESPN light heavyweight ranking, has not lost in 10 years and is now at the top of the rankings. Zhang Weiley, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, is of course the first Chinese boxer to win the UFC title. It is very likely that the UFC will consider the Zhang versus Yan title match in 2021. Ex-champion Rosa Namajunas, almost certainly after Zhang. But what if Zhang can win? Yan is undoubtedly a tough opponent, even if she still needs a victory.
Without KOWID-19, the CFU would have been able to observe Zhang – Yang on mainland China. This is debatable in the near future. But this fight in itself is very important for next year, as long as Zhang remains champion.
No need to rush UFC Alexander Romanov
Fault! The file name is not specified. – set
Alexander Romanov throws his coaches to the ground after beating Marcos Rogerio of Lima in the UFC Fight Night game.
Romanov had 13 career battles and won them all. None of his opponents has heard the final blow of the horn, as the Moldovan has nine appearances and four knockout victories. But the most remarkable number: 29, the age of Romanov.
It fights in the heavyweight section, a section in which candidates tend to peak well into the thirties and even the forties. Romanov has time to build up slowly, which is good for an athlete who has been a professional for less than three years and has been with the UFC for less than two months. Marcos Rogerio de Lima was impressive in the first round on Saturday, just like in his UFC debut in September when he defeated Roque Martinez. But neither Martinez nor Lima are an adequate indicator of what can be expected of Romanov’s future when he moves up the career ladder of his rivals.
For now we know that Romanov will aggressively pursue the catch and when he does, he won’t lose any time at the finish line. And he’s creative. With the strangulation of the forearm, he pulled the tapas out of the Lima, a manoeuvre that has not been used successfully in the UFC since 1997. His future rivals in the training room won’t see him.
But Romanov must support plan B, for the nights when capture is not easy. On Saturday he was not in good shape, but from Lima he beat him 12-0 by fighting from a distance. This could cause problems for Romanov, because his rivals are becoming more and more difficult. But he has time to work on it. Years.