Glover Teixeira's long awaited light heavyweight title shot didn't go exactly as planned. For a man long considered a fringe title contender, even outside the UFC, Glover's eventual title shot feels like it came and went rather quickly and quietly. A five round battle with Jon Jones that saw him outworked in his wheelhouse for the majority of the fight, and left Teixeira with a torn labrum in his shoulder, the result of Jones' mid-fight arm crank.
Fortunately, Teixeira was able to avoid surgery and is now expected to return sometime this fall to face Phil Davis. Combate reports that a verbal agreement for the fight is in place. No date has been set, but the bout is expected to take place at UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
As mentioned, Teixeira will enter the bout off his first professional loss in eight years, stretching back to a unanimous decision loss to Ed Herman in Teixeira's fourth pro fight. In-between he put together a twenty fight winning streak, culminating in his UFC 172 title shot. Now, for the first time in a long time, Teixeira will be looking to bounce back from a loss and recover some steam in the division. While he probably doesn't have another shot at Jon Jones looming, there's always the potential that a change in hands for the title could refresh former challengers. A win over Davis would put him right back in the conversation for future contenders.
For Phil Davis, the conversation is about more than winning. His UFC record is a stellar 8-2 (1 NC) and he's never lost back to back fights in his career. His only losses come to top competition in Rashad Evans and Anthony Johnson. But, the way he has won and lost in the UFC has become increasingly more predictable, increasingly less fun, and with it, the criticism has mounted. Davis should be primed to "turn the corner" as a talent. Six years in as a pro, he should be entering his peak years, but a bad beating at the hands of Anthony Johnson, last time out, have many fans (and his boss) wondering whether or not that will ever happen. At 29, he's still a fairly young fighter in a very thin (and old) division, but if he doesn't show more in this fight than he did in his last few he may find himself under heavy fire from the UFC brass.
Light heavyweight is currently one of the UFC's most open divisions in terms of fight bookings, so stay tuned as I'm sure more fight announcements are coming as the UFC looks to fill up it's fall lineup.