One of the featured fights at UFC 153 saw action in the Light Heavyweight division, with Glover Teixeira taking on Fabio Maldonado. Maldonado showed incredible heart, but in the end, was simply no match for Teixeira. The fight was stopped by the doctors at the end of round 2. Teixeira is now 19-2, while Maldonado is 18-6 with his third UFC loss in a row.
Originally scheduled as Teixeira vs. Rampage, this ended up with Teixeira vs. Maldonado after Rampage was injured and other UFC fighters asked not to fight Teixeira. After this fight, you can see why. The beating he put on Maldonado was simply epic, especially those elbows on the ground, and it truly is a wonder Maldonado never went down. That said, I would have liked to see this one called off sooner, as Maldonado really was taking a vicious pounding here.
What was the high spot of this fight?
The fight was almost all Teixeira, but the highlight was Maldonado's one moment of hope. Late in round 1, he managed to catch Teixeira as Glover became a bit complacent, rocking him with a left hook that put Teixeira in trouble. A great moment of the overmatched fighter showing he should never be counted out.
Where do these guys go from here?
It's time for Teixeira to get a top contender. Personally, I would love to see him fight the Shogun vs. Gustafsson winner, but I suspect that fighter will have Jones next. Since Teixeira is relatively new to the UFC, there is no shortage of potential big fights for him here - Rampage, Lyoto, Hendo, Phil Davis... lots of great choices available.
Post-fight Dana White stated that Maldonado would not be cut, despite the 3 losses in a row. That's a good choice. Next up, I think a fight with Brandon Vera would be pretty fantastic.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. It may be one-sided, but it was still an incredible display by both men. And Teixeira is a fighter who needs to be paid attention to starting right now.
More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 153: