Glover Teixeira joined the UFC in 2012 and put together a five-fight winning streak to open his career with the promotion. That run, which included four stoppages and one decision, earned him a title shot. Teixeira lost that fight to Jon Jones. On Saturday, the 41-year-old defeated Thiago Santos to earn a second UFC five-fight winning streak. Like his first run, this unbeaten streak includes four stoppages and one decision.
Santos had Teixeira in trouble with strikes in the first round, but the ever resilient Teixeira earned a takedown and kept the fight on the mat with his ground strikes.
The second round was all Teixeira. He scored an early takedown and kept the fight on the mat with his strikes and heavy ground control. Santos seemed to accept that position, which was a mistake as Teixeira passed to mount and transitioned to a rear-naked choke before the round expired.
Santos stopped a takedown attempt early in the third round and then dropped Teixeira with a punch. Santos did his best to finish things on the ground, but Teixeira hung on and turned things around and took control of the fight. He then latched on a rear-naked choke that finished the fight.
After his win, Teixeira said he wanted a title shot. UFC president Dana White said he got the message from the veteran competitor, but he stopped short of saying Teixeira would be next for Jan Blachowicz.
Read on for the winner and losers of UFC VEGAS 13: ‘SANTOS VS TEIXEIRA’
Glover Teixeira: On Saturday, Teixeira was the underdog to Thiago Santos in the main event of UFC Vegas 13. The odds were likely of little concern to the veteran fighter. Teixeira was the underdog in three of his previous four outings and he won all of those fights. He also handled Santos. Teixeira earned a third-round submission victory. With his win, the 41-year-old put his name at the top of the UFC light heavyweight record book in stoppages and submissions. His 12th UFC finish broke a tie with Ovince Saint Preux and his sixth UFC submission broke a tie with Jon Jones, Misha Cirkunov, Paul Craig, and OSP.
It didn’t sound like Teixeira would get his requested title fight, but if he waits, he should get the opportunity to face the winner of the bout between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and current light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz.
Raoni Barcelos vs. Khalid Taha: This was a fun bantamweight fight. Barcelos won handily, but Taha, even in defeat, should see his stock rise. The contest was fast-paced and both men threw nice striking combinations. Barcelos was clearly the superior grappler, but Taha did his best to stay in the fight when it hit the deck. The pace slowed a bit in the third stanza, but as the clock got closer to expiring, Barcelos and Taha got back to striking. This was an excellent 15-minute contest and showed the depth and talent in the 135-pound division.
Giga Chikadze: Chikadze moved to 5-0 with the UFC and scored his first stoppage win with the promotion when he stopped the overmatched Jamey Simmons with his kickboxing skills. Chikadze did a marvelous job going from a kick to the body to a head kick to finish Simmons. Chikadze needs a step up in competition in his next outing and hopefully his next opponent stays healthy until fight night.
Yan Xiaonan: Xiaonan did an excellent job in showing how activity can win a fight. Claudia Gadelha had nearly seven minutes of control time in this matchup, but Xiaonan outlanded her 133 to 84 in total strikes and 74 to 36 in significant strikes. Xiaonan’s activity on the fence and on the mat won her the fight and moved her to 6-0 in the UFC.
Another thing that helped Xiaonan was her jab, which kept Gadelha at bay when the fight was not against the fence or on the mat. Expect Xiaonan to move up the strawweight rankings.
Trevin Giles: Giles dropped Bevon Lewis at the end of the first round with a jab and that seemed to be the turning point of the fight. Giles was faster with his strikes and he kept Lewis backing up throughout most of the contest. Neither fighter was very active, but Giles delivered the more effective strikes because he found openings when Lewis was not. When Giles hurt Lewis in the third, he unloaded some heavy strikes to bring the fight to an end.
Alexandr Romanov: Heavyweights, man. Romanov started his fight against Marcos Rogerio de Lima with a blast double and ended it with a forearm choke. Between that he showed some good takedown ability and heavy top control. I’m not going to say this was a high level fight, but it was an entertaining one.
Darren Elkins: Elkins once again lived up to his “The Damage” nickname in securing a submission win over Luiz Eduardo Garagorri on the UFC Vegas 13 prelims. By the time the fight ended in the third stanza, Elkins’ right eye was swollen shut. Before that, Elkins scored seven takedowns on 21 attempts and racked up over seven minutes of control time.
Garagorri helped Elkins out in the third round. He stunned Elkins with strikes and then threw an ill advised knee that allowed Elkins to set up the rear-naked choke. Elkins’ fight IQ was just higher at pivotal moments in this contest.
Max Griffin: Griffin’s movement was excellent in his opposite Ramiz Brahimaj. That movement never allowed Brahimaj to set his feet and shoot for a takedown. Griffin also forced Brahimaj to pursue him around the cage and that allowed Griffin to pick apart Brahimaj with his jab. By the time the second round ended, Brahimaj’s face was bloodied from that jab. Every time Brahimaj closed distance, Griffin simply slipped away. When Griffin engaged in the clinch in the third round, he landed a nasty elbow that literally left Brahimaj’s ear hanging off his head, bringing the fight to an end. Griffin’s movement and jab were just too much for Brahimaj.
Gustavo Lopez: Lopez was on a three-fight winning streak with Combate Americas, where he captured that promotion’s bantamweight title, before he joined the UFC in 2020. Lopez lost his UFC to Merab Dvalishvili in June, but he bounced back in a big way on Saturday when he overwhelmed his friend and teammate Anthony Birchak.
Lopez never allowed Birchak to get into the fight. He staggered Birchak twice in the early moments over the first stanza before locking up a rear-naked choke and forcing his opponent to submit before the three-minute mark off the first stanza. A solid win for Lopez and a good way to open the UFC on Vegas 13 card.
Thiago Santos: Santos did well when he was striking on the feet against Glover Teixeira. The problem for Santos was that he wasn’t striking on the feet for very long. Santos was no match for Teixeira when it came to takedown defense or working his way back to his feet from the mat. Santos’ window of opportunity came in the third round when he knocked Teixeira to the mat, but that window closed quickly when he ran out of gas.
The fight was a disappointing one for the man who last fought in July 2019 when he dropped a split decision to Jon Jones.
Jamey Simmons: I’ll give Simmons some points for accepting a fight against Giga Chikadze, but he had nothing to offer the accomplished kickboxer and his first fight with the UFC was a short one. He was stopped at the 3:51 mark of the first round.
Claudia Gedelha: Gadelha seemed shocked when she landed on the wrong end of a decision to Yan Xiaonan. Perhaps she thought her takedowns and control time would carry her to victory, but she didn’t do much with either of those things. Had she mixed more striking in maybe Gadelha would have triumphed, but control alone doesn’t count for much in the scoring.
Bevon Lewis: Lewis couldn’t use his length against Trevin Giles and that cost him. Lewis allowed Giles to keep him on the outside and his inactive striking game also allowed Giles to sit and wait for an opening. When he found that opening he landed a jab and then blasted Lewis with some heavy strikes for the stoppage. Lewis looked winded and disinterested in this contest.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima: De Lima should have known better to get caught flat on his back by a man who had two previous forearm choke wins. He didn’t. With that he became the third forearm choke victim of Romanov
Luiz Eduardo Garagorri: Garagorri did a decent job with his striking against Darren Elkins, but his fight IQ was terrible in the finishing sequence. Garagorri threw away any chance he had when he opted to throw a knee instead of trying to work Elkins over at distance. Elkins latched onto that knee and set up his rear-naked choke.
Ramiz Brahimaj: Brahimaj failed to get close to taking Max Griffin to the mat and that left him very little opportunity to win. To make matters worse, Griffin landed two low blows and then closed out the fight with an elbow that nearly severed Brahimaj’s ear. This could not have been how Brahimaj imagined his UFC debut ending.
Anthony Birchak: Birchak’s first run with the UFC ended with a victory over Dileno Lopes in 2016. Despite the win and a 2-2 overall record with the promotion, the UFC did not offer Birchak a new deal. Birchak, who had not fought since July 2019, took the fight against Gustavo Lopez on very short notice.
Lopez had no difficulty dispensing of Birchak. He rocked him a couple times before submitting he submitted Birchak in under three minutes. It would be a surprise to see Birchak back in the UFC after his performance in the opening fight of UFC Vegas 13.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Tanner Boser: This was not the best fight to follow the high-paced Raoni Barcelos vs. Khalid Taha matchup. Arlovski vs. Boser was a tedious affair. Both men worked from kickboxing distance, but neither really opened up nor did either take a chance throughout the 15-minute contest. Boser focused on leg kicks while Arlovski looked for an opening to land head strikes. Arlovski’s strikes were more effective, but it’s hard to see how either man moves ahead after this bout. It was a forgettable affair.