Glover Teixeira was brilliant Wednesday night during the main event of UFC Fight Night 171. Teixeira absolutely dominated Anthony Smith to reignite his career and reenter the UFC light heavyweight title picture.
Teixeira started slowly, but found his footing in the second round, exchanging well and turning the fight's momentum. In the third round, he poured it on, dominating the fight, and that continued in the fourth round. I scored both as 10-8 rounds for Teixeira. The fight was stopped at 1:04 in the fifth round, as Teixeira gained full mount and began wailing on Smith from the position.
The key to the bout were Teixeira's devastating uppercuts, which landed frequently:
The 40-year-old Brazilian turned in one of the best performances of his career. He entered the night as the eighth-ranked light heavyweight in the UFC's rankings, and Smith was ranked fourth, so this qualifies as a pretty big upset.
It was the fourth win in a row for Teixeira, but the first against a top contender. Smith submitted Alexander Gustafsson in his last bout and fought for the light heavyweight title before that. He had won four of his last five fights, the lone loss coming against Jon Jones in that title fight. The 31-year-old Texan was clearly off on the night and struggled to deal with Teixeira's superior boxing skill.
There's no doubting Smith's heart, he stayed in the fight and kept trying to fight back despite getting strafed by shots all night. At one point he told his corner his teeth were falling out.
Teixeira is now 31-7 and will likely make a jump in the rankings. He also now sits alone in UFC history with the most finishes in the light heavyweight division (11). Expect him to get a fight against another top contender next after he completely owned this one.
Expect him to get back in the octagon soon and try to keep the momentum going.