When a No. 4 ranked fighter faces a No. 6 ranked fighter, there are always thoughts of title shots dancing in each man’s head. The UFC Fight Night 73 headliner between Glover Teixeira and Ovince Saint Preux was certainly such a fight.
Teixeira entered the bout off of back-to-back losses to Jon Jones and Phil Davis, but the strength of his previous victories still kept him at No. 4 on the UFC’s light heavyweight list. Ranked No. 6, Saint Preux entered the fight on a much higher note, having won his last two bouts against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Patrick Cummins.
Saint Preux had the home turf advantage in Nashville, being a former Tennessee Volunteers football player, but that advantage was wiped away early with several takedowns by Teixeira in the opening round.
Teixeira held the mount both from top and back for a good portion of the first round, pummeling Saint Preux with punches. Saint Preux got in some moves of his own, though, eventually escaping and gaining side control and landing some ground and pound late in the round.
Teixeira dominated the second stanza. The Brazilian scored an early takedown and kept Saint Preux on his back for the majority of the round, making him wear his weight and feeding him a steady diet of punches and elbows.
The strategy paid off, as Teixeira again put Saint Preux on the canvas in round three. He rained down punches and elbows, forcing Saint Preux to give up his back in an attempt to escape, but it only offered Teixeira the opportunity to end the fight… and he took it.
Teixeira sunk a rear-naked choke, but Saint Preux wouldn’t tap out, instead he passed out.
It was a big victory for Teixeira, who got his first win in two years, having lost back-to-back bouts and struggling through injuries.
“I’m back man. My last performance was bad. I told myself, if I’m gonna keep fighting like this, I’m gonna stop. (But) I’m back man,” Teixeira said after the fight. And he wasn’t shy about where he wants to go, although he wasn’t exactly calling for a title shot just yet.
“(Daniel) Cormier, I told you before, I’m coming for you baby. I’m on the right track.”