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Some call being 40 years old “middle aged.” Glover Teixeira and Alistair Overeem should probably call it “dangerous.”
It was the week of the 40-year-old revival in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as both Teixeira and Overeem scored emphatic victories in headlining bouts at UFC Fight Night 171 and UFC on ESPN 8, respectively.
Teixeira’s triumph was the more surprising of the two. The Brazilian veteran entered last Wednesday’s matchup with Anthony Smith on a three-fight winning streak, he was expected to succumb to the younger “Lionheart.” Instead, Teixeira has shaken up the entire light heavyweight division after soundly thumping Smith en route to a fifth-round technical knockout victory. Just like that, Teixeira went from being on a nice run to the thick of contention. As a result of his victory, the former title challenger rockets up the rankings at 205 pounds from 12th to sixth. Smith, despite good work in wins over Alexander Gustafsson and Volkan Oezdemir, plummets from second to seventh.
Overeem, meanwhile, overcame popular sentiment and an early blitz to stop Walt Harris in the second round of their main event clash. Overeem is but mere seconds from a four-fight winning streak, but three out of four still ain’t bad. “The Reem” will remain at No. 9 in our heavyweight poll after vanquishing the 11th-ranked Harris.
Elsewhere, Claudia Gadelha remains No. 7 at strawweight following a somewhat fortuitous split-decision win over Angela Hill in the UFC on ESPN 8 co-main event. Hill, who many thought deserved to win and had a three-fight winning streak snapped, still impressed enough in defeat to take over the 15th spot at 115 pounds.
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