The third fight on the main card of UFC 160 features a couple of rising combatants in the 205 lb division. The winner of this bout could bust into the elite of a division that has seen a lot of top fighters lose lately. While the bout probably doesn't have title implications, it will certainly set the victor on the right path.
Teixeira has now established himself as a big presence in the UFC's 205-pound division after visa issues kept him out of the organization for years. The 33-year-old Brazilian has been a staple of John Hackleman's gym, The Pit, for a long time and has training alongside the likes of former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. He looked very impressive his first two UFC fights, submitting Kyle Kingsbury in the first round at UFC 146 and beating the pulp out of Fabio Maldonado at UFC 153. He faced a much stiffer test in Quinton Jackson at UFC on Fox 6, but won all three rounds with a good combination of striking and wrestling.
Te Huna was brought into the UFC after winning a CFC light heavyweight grand prix in Australia, defeating current UFC fighter Anthony Perosh in the finals. After stopping Igor Pokrajac in his debut, he ran into the up-and-coming Alexander Gustafsson and was submitted in the first round. Since then he has looked excellent though, rattling off four straight victories. The most recent came against Ryan Jimmo at UFC on Fuel 7, where he was clipped by a huge head kick early but managed to survive and take over the last two rounds to win a decision.
Now that we've got that out of the way, how do these two match up? In short, very well. Both are big, strong 205ers with power in their hands, good offensive and defensive wrestling, and decent cardio. Teixeira is definitely the better of the two in terms of submission grappling and is probably the more creative striker, but Te Huna brings better technical boxing and probably has a bit more one-punch power. JTH might hold an edge in wrestling too - no one really thought much of Glover's wrestling until he manhandled Rampage the way he did.
Another minor difference might be each guy's chin - Te Huna's is granite. The kick he took from Ryan Jimmo would have knocked out just about anyone in in the sport, and it did badly hurt JTH, but he held on. Teixeira took some shots well from Rampage, but he was wobbled by a nearly-dead Fabio Maldonado in their fight and his chin doesn't seem to be at that elite level. That being said, Te Huna has to find it to exploit it and Teixiera's striking defense has looked much improved since he came into the UFC.
To me, it depends what kind of fight Teixeira wants to engage in. He probably has the faster hands, but he likes to fight inside and that plays into Te Huna's strengths. If he has the wrestling to take Te Huna down, he holds a wide advantage on the ground in terms of grappling ability. The smart move would be to make it a ground fight, while will also tire Te Huna out. Overall, he just brings more weapons into the fight. Can Te Huna knock him out? For sure. But I don't see that happening on Saturday night, even if Glover does oblige him in the pocket for a little while.
Prediction - Glover Teixeira by submission