No. 4-ranked UFC light heavyweight Glover Teixeira confirmed to Portal do Vale Tudo that his upcoming fight with No. 6-ranked Phil Davis is now signed. The two will meet in October at UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This matchup is the perfect fight for the top light heavyweight contenders, who are both coming off major losses. This fight will test both athletes in their quest to make it back to the top of the division.
Both fighters are still top light heavyweights, but they both recently experienced some tough losses this year. In the main event at UFC 172, Teixeira was dominated by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Teixeira lost his bid for the title. On the same night, Davis was completely shut down and beaten by Anthony Johnson. Davis had done a lot to verbally agitate and get under the skin of Jones before the fight, when his true opponent was Johnson. This fight is a great match-up to see where both fighters stand in the rankings. If Teixeira wins, he stays in the top five and could get back in the mix to fight for the title again. For Davis, a win here could put him back in the top five of the division. If he manages to deal with a fighter such as Teixeira, with knockout power, great boxing, striking and takedown defense, that would be a great feather in his cap.
Phil Davis’ fight against Anthony Johnson once again exposed some major holes in Davis’ MMA game. Davis is a tremendous athlete. He is an elite wrestler and grappler. However, his MMA striking has long been deficient. In Davis’ four and a half years with the UFC, his striking has not really improved at all. It also appears that if Davis cannot get an opponent to the ground and utilize his wrestling, he appears lost. Davis did not react well to Johnson hitting and bullying him in the cage. Also, Davis’ transitions still look very green. For many years, Davis was able to get by with his incredible wrestling technique and skills. However, much like Jake Shields and Jon Fitch, that style can only get you so far. It could very well take you to to the top five in the division, but it will not take you to the UFC title.
Teixeira was really beaten by champion Jones at his own game. However, the fight was Teixeira’s first loss in the UFC and his first career MMA loss since facing Ed Herman in 2005. It will be interesting to see how Teixeira recovers from such a tough defeat for the UFC title. The Teixeira and Davis matchup appears to favor Teixeira because of his strong stand-up game. However, Teixeira has never fought an elite wrestler like Davis. The good news for Teixeira is that the fight will be held in his home country of Brazil.
Davis vs. Teixeira is a great light heavyweight contest that will test the mettle of both guys to see how badly they want to make it to the top of the 205 pound weight class. I cannot wait to see what happens with this fight in October.