UFC 202 is right around the corner. The event takes place August 20th 2016, from the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. This event, is headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II. Set to be a blockbuster of a card, I’m going to break down the co-main event between two light heavyweight contenders.
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (21-5 MMA) will be looking to earn himself a third straight win, against the Brazilian native & submission machine, Glover Teixeira (25-4 MMA). Both fighters ranked #1 & #2 respectively; will no doubt be desperate for another win, as it’s highly likely whoever wins, will face current light heavyweight champion: Daniel Cormier (18-1MMA) for the 205lb title.
Rumble in the Jungle
In Johnson’s most recent bout, he went toe-to-toe with Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader, scoring an impressive first round win knockout. ‘Rumble’ demonstrated his takedown defense , along with exceptional ground technique & submission defense. He was able to defend Bader’s attempt at a kimura meanwhile transitioning effortlessly into top mount. Johnson then ground and pounded his way to victory. He now turns his head towards a high stakes war, with Glover Teixeira.
Unlike Johnson’s previous opponent, Teixeira has a much more formidable submission game, so I wouldn’t expect ‘Rumble’ to defend a submission attempt as easy as he did in his previous fight. Teixeira currently has a three fight win streak, which includes victories over previous title contender Ovince Saint-Preux as well as Patrick Cummins and previous title holder, Rashad Evans, also having fought for the light heavyweight title once before against Jon Jones, at UFC 172, back in 2014.
In his last bout, Teixeira decimated Rashad Evans with a clean left hand, before knocking him out with a straight right. The Brazilian took control of the fight from the get go, instantly commanding the center of the octagon. He used his footwork to keep pressuring Evans towards the fence until he could get within striking range, where he landed numerous strikes with high velocity.
Both of the fighters in the co-main event, won by knockout in their previous bouts. Teixeira will no doubt want to control the pace of the fight and keep Johnson going backwards towards the fence. The two fighters have a ludicrous amount of knockout power in their hands. The only real significance between these two light heavyweight contenders, is Glover Teixeira’s submission game. If the bout ends up on the mat, surely he will have the advantage and Anthony Johnson will always be in serious danger.
I expect Johnson to keep the fight standing for as long as possible and look to find an opening which would allow him to land significant strikes. Furthermore, in a fight thats surrounded with title implications, neither fighter will be wanting to lose, especially with a shot at UFC gold just finger tips away.
Anthony Johnson KO round 1.