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Vintage Glover Teixeira was still a sight to behold.
The former Shooto Brazil titleholder weathered serious adversity and continued his unlikely resurgence in the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight division, as he dispatched Anthony Smith with punches in the fifth round of their UFC Fight Night 171 headliner on Wednesday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Smith (33-15, 8-5 UFC) met his end 64 seconds into Round 5, having absorbed the kind of beating that can shave years off of a career.
Not all went according to plan for Teixeira (31-7, 14-5 UFC). Smith pushed a ridiculous pace through two rounds, had the Brazilian in trouble more than once and connected with an overhand right that had Teixeira’s left eye on the verge of swelling shut. However, the output proved unsustainable. As fatigue set in, Teixeira seized control. The 40-year-old forced Smith into survival mode in the third round, where he followed a right uppercut at close range with a sweeping left hook that floored “Lionheart” at the base of the cage. Teixeira swarmed for a finish, achieved full mount and hammered away with ground-and-pound for what felt like an eternity.
Round 4 offered more of the same. Teixeira cut loose with a volley of uppercuts, forced the Factory X rep to dive on a takedown out of desperation and assumed top position, at which point the abuse continued. Smith was a shell of himself by the time the fifth round was underway. Teixeira ducked in for a takedown, moved to full mount and let go with punches to prompt the stoppage.
Relentless Rothwell Edges St. Preux
Ben Rothwell pushed a relentless pace and leaned on a punishing clinch, as he escaped the heavyweight co-main event with a split decision over Knoxville MMA standout Ovince St. Preux. All three cageside judges struck 29-28 scorecards: Derek Cleary and Dave Tirelli for Rothwell, Sal D’Amato for St. Preux.
Rothwell (38-12, 8-6 UFC) bullied the longtime light heavyweight for extended stretches, as he moved forward with little regard for the punches and kicks being flung in his direction. “Big Ben” did his best work in the clinch, where he battered St. Preux with uppercuts and knee strikes. Momentum began to shift in the second round, as the former University of Tennessee linebacker dropped Rothwell to a knee with a counter left hook. Rothwell responded early in Round 3, resumed his methodical pursuit and connected with punches to the body and head, integrated close-quarters knees and even slipped in the occasional leg kick. St. Preux (24-14, 12-9 UFC) made his last stand in the closing seconds, as he cut loose with left hooks in a failed bid for a Hail Mary finish.
The 38-year-old Rothwell has posted consecutive victories for the first time in more than four years.
Surging Dober Subdues Hernandez
Elevation Fight Team export Drew Dober put away Alexander Hernandez with a volley of unanswered punches in the second round of their action-packed lightweight showcase. Hernandez (11-3, 3-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:25 into Round 2, suffering just his second loss in 11 outings.
Dober (23-9, 9-5 UFC) applied maximum pressure, backed up “Alexander the Great” with accurate punching bursts and pushed him toward the abyss. Hernandez countered with takedowns but failed to consolidate them with damage or control, allowing his opponent to escape to his feet. Dober rang the Ohana Academy rep’s bell more than once in the second round, closed the distance with punches from both hands and flurried along the fence to prompt the stoppage.
On a three-fight tear, Dober has emerged as a dark horse contender at 155 pounds.
Minus Mullet, Simon Outduels Borg
Former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Ricky Simon closed the book on a two-fight losing streak, as he eked out a split decision over Ray Borg in a featured bantamweight tilt. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Derek Cleary and Sal D’Amato for Simon, Dave Tirelli for Borg.
Borg (13-5, 7-5 UFC) fought well in spurts—he punished his counterpart’s body with left hooks and cut loose with occasional combinations—but struggled to overcome noticeable discrepancies in size and strength. Simon (16-3, 4-2 UFC) struck for takedowns in all three rounds, applied his ground-and-pound and managed to corral the notoriously elusive Jackson-Wink MMA rep on the floor.
Arlovski Spoils Lins Debut
A crafty Andrei Arlovski turned back the clock with an active kicking game, as he took a unanimous decision from former Professional Fighters League champion Philipe Lins in a three-round heavyweight feature. All three judges sided with Arlovski (29-19, 18-13 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Lins (14-4, 0-1 UFC) started strong but saw his output fall off a cliff in the second and third rounds. Arlovski fought at a measured pace, withstood a brutal second-round groin strike and piled up points with kicks to the legs and body, jarring left hands and sneaky counters. The loss was Lins’ first since 2017.
Moises Heel Hook Taps Johnson
American Top Team’s Thiago Moises submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 finalist Michael Johnson with a heel hook in the second round of their lightweight showcase. Moises (13-4, 2-2 UFC) drew the curtain 25 seconds into Round 2, as he notched his fourth win in six appearances.
Johnson (19-16, 11-12 UFC) utilized an effective sprawl, got the Brazilian’s attention with a few straight lefts and allowed his quick hands to carry him to a lead through the first five minutes. Moises shot for an immediate takedown at the start of the second round, rolled into position for the heel hook and torqued the knee for the tapout.
Winless since October 2018, Johnson now finds himself on a three-fight losing streak.
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