Light heavyweights Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira headlined Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night event in Jacksonville, Florida. Smith entered the fight ranked No. 4 in the 205-pound weight class while Teixeira sat in the No. 8 slot.
Smith rebounded from his title fight loss to champion Jon Jones by submitting Alexander Gustafsson in his last outing. Teixeira entered the Octagon at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena riding a three-fight winning streak. Both men have fought for the title and came up short and are trying to get back to top contender status.
Smith established his jab early and began connecting with combinations. Teixeira delivered leg kicks but Smith outworked him in the opening frame while landing right hands repeatedly.
In the second round, Smith continued to work behind his jab and set up his right. He utilized a high output strategy but began to fade late in the stanza. Teixeira came on strong in the closing moments and the momentum of the fight had changed.
In the early going of the third round, Teixeira stepped into the pocket and connected with an uppercut that hurt Smith. Smith back peddled and Teixeira pressured with punches. A left hook sent Smith crashing to the canvas. Teixeira followed him to the ground and delivered punches and elbows as Smith tried desperately to hang on.
Teixeira connected with an uppercut in the opening seconds of the fourth round that caused Smith to back up to the cage. Teixeira moved in looking for a finish and Smith fired back with elbows. Teixeira caught Smith with two uppercuts and Smith drove for a takedown. Teixeira stuffed the attempt and gained top position where he went back to peppering Smith with punches and elbows. Following the fourth round, Smith told his corner, “My teeth are falling out.”
In the final frame, Teixeira landed a jab and quickly took Smith down. After advancing to the mount position, Teixeira postured up and hammered away with punches until referee Jason Herzog stepped in to stop the fight. The end came at 1:04 of the fifth round.
“It’s not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep coming forward,” said Teixeira after the win. “He hits like a truck but I move my head a lot. I train so hard.”
The win extended the 40-year old’s winning streak to four consecutive fights. Teixeira attributed his recent success inside the cage to changes that he’s made in training and diet.
“I had to do some changes of course. I went to UFC PI (Performance Institute),” he said. “You’ve got to open your mind. You have to go out and look for help when things start going wrong and that’s what I did and here I am baby, getting another run at the title.”