Tagged in: Jon Jones

Glover Teixeira, vowing to ‘never give up on your dreams,’ defeats Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267

Glover Teixeira got a UFC light heavyweight title shot seven years ago and lost, like most everyone else does, to Jon Jones. At that point, Teixeira was already 34 years old and most wrote him off. He had his nice UFC run, many thought, and that would be it.

Instead, Teixeira got back to work and somehow made his way all the way back. On Saturday, he did what most thought impossible. Teixeira defeated Jan Blachowicz via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:02 of the second round to win the UFC light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi. Teixeira was a +210 underdog, per Caesars Sportsbook.

At 42 years old, Teixeira is the oldest first-time champion in UFC history and the second-oldest fighter to collect a UFC title, behind only Randy Couture.

Teixeira joins Couture and Daniel Cormier as only the third UFC fighter to win a title at age 40 or older. The 14 UFC fights between Teixeira’s title loss to Jon Jones at UFC 172 on April 26, 2014, and Saturday, were the most between title shots in the same division in UFC history.

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“Never give up on your dreams,” Teixeira said in his postfight interview. “No matter what people say, don’t listen to them. They’re gonna put you down. Don’t listen to those negative people. Believe in yourself.”

Teixeira took down Blachowicz in the first round and basically kept him there for the duration.

In the second round, Blachowicz had success with his boxing. But Teixeira wobbled him with a left hook and then took him down again.

This time, Teixeira was able to get mount, then take Blachowicz’s back and lock in the choke. “I’m breaking the rules — 42 years old,” Teixeira said. “I’m gonna keep breaking those rules.”

ESPN has Blachowicz ranked No. 5 in the world on its pound-for-pound MMA list. At light heavyweight, ESPN has Blachowicz ranked No. 1 and Teixeira at No. 2.

Teixeira (33-7) has won six consecutive and seven of his past eight, most recently before this weekend a third-round submission victory over Thiago Santos in November 2020. The Brazil native has 28 finishes in 33 career victories.

Teixeira, a Connecticut resident, has been considered one of the top light heavyweights in the world for more than a decade, an incredible stretch of consistency and quality. He has the most finishes (13) and submission victories (7) in UFC light heavyweight history. Teixeira’s 16 UFC light heavyweight wins are second most next to Jones (20).

“Glover Teixeira is and has been one of the toughest guys in the division for a very long time, this was his dream forever to get this title shot,” UFC president Dana White stated. “He finally gets it and did it tonight.”

Blachowicz (28-9) was coming off his first title defense, a unanimous decision win over previously undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 on March 6.

The native of Poland won the title vacated by Jones at UFC 253 in September 2020, a second-round TKO over Dominick Reyes. Blachowicz, 38, had won five straight and nine of his past 10 fights coming in. He is a former KSW light heavyweight champion.

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Anthony Smith dominates light heavyweight bout with first-round submission of Ryan Spann

Anthony Smith stated two years ago after a title loss to all-time great Jon Jones that maybe he’d never get another opportunity to defeat Jones.

But that was OK, Smith said, because he’d simply outlast Jones — and the rest of the UFC light heavyweight division.

Those comments have aged pretty well.

Smith took out another up-and-comer Saturday night, submitting Ryan Spann with a rear-naked choke at 3:47 of the first round in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Smith dropped Spann twice with punches and then finished the job on the ground with his grappling acumen in an outstanding performance.

Smith has five first-round finishes since 2018, tied with Vicente Luque for the most in the UFC during that stretch, per ESPN Stats & Info.

“He’s got the skills,” Smith said in his postfight interview. “I think I’m better.” After referee Herb Dean stopped the fight following Spann’s tap, Smith started jawing at Spann.

The two men had to be separated by security and their teams. Smith took umbrage with some of the trash talk coming from Spann and his team leading up to this fight. But cooler heads prevailed and the two ended up embracing and exchanging pleasantries.

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Smith stated after the bout he wants another streaking prospect next: Aleksandar Rakic. The two fought in August 2020 with Rakic winning by unanimous decision.

“He’s just sitting around,” Smith said. “He’s not next in line for the title. Either I want that fight or I skip it.”

Rakic tweeted seconds later that he was free in December. To that, Smith responded: “Merry Christmas to me.”

Smith clipped Spann with a left hand behind the ear that dropped him early in the first round during an exchange.

Spann was able to get back to his feet after escaping an armbar attempt.

When the two got into another striking exchange, Smith was able to land a big left followed by a right hand that hurt Spann. Another right put Spann down; Smith took his back in a scramble and then cinched in the choke that ended things.

Smith (36-16) has won three consecutive — all by finish — and was coming off a first-round TKO victory over prospect Jimmy Crute.

The Nebraska native lost to Jones, who has since vacated the belt and left the division, at UFC 235 in March 2019. He is 4-2 since then. Smith, 33, has been very solid since moving up to light heavyweight from middleweight in 2018, going 7-3 with wins over former champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, as well as former multiple-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.

Spann (19-7) was seeking his first real signature win against a top light heavyweight. The Texas resident was coming off a first-round TKO win over Misha Cirkunov in March.

Spann, 30, has won nine of his last 11 fights and is a former LFA light heavyweight champion.

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Chris Weidman Wants To Fight Jon Jones

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Super fights are a constant talking point in the sport of mixed-martial-arts, he fans love pondering the idea of two of the sports’ all-time greats going at it, and while none of the aforementioned fights have happened, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman plans on making a super fight with the former UFC light heavyweight champion before he retires.

Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Middleweight champion, is adamant he will not leave mixed martial arts (MMA) without fighting former Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.

Because much like wanting to test himself against former 185-pound king Anderson Silva, Weidman wants to take on the best and take them out.

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Weidman recently spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour and talked about his desire to eventually move up to the light heavyweight division:

“I feel like there’s a plan for me and I know this is a big fight for me. I’m going to retire undefeated and I will be named the greatest of all time. At some point, I don’t know when it’s going to happen… But in order to do that, I’m going to go up to 205 and beat whoever everybody thinks is the best up there. That is gonna happen. I’m really excited for that, but first I have to beat everybody at 185. I think Luke is a great fight to have.”

“I could get up, if I wanted to, if I eat a little bit, lift a little bit, maybe get up to 225 pretty easy. Not easy, but I could get up there.”

When Jon Jones’ name was thrown in as a potential candidate, Weidman sounded as though a “superfight” with the 205 lb champion-in-exile has been on his mind for a while(transcription via MMAFighting):

“I know for a fact, I’m not leaving this sport without fighting Jon. Unless he’s not coming back at all. But if he’s there, and I’m here, people are going to want to see it happen. And I want to see it happen.”

“That’s nothing against Jon. It’s just because I’m a competitor. I want to fight the best possible people. I want to have the biggest challenges in front of me and conquer them.”

“He’s an amazing athlete and he’s accomplished so much. So I hope he gets his stuff together and he comes back.”

Jon Jones is currently serving an indefinite suspension, which was given to him by the UFC after Jones’ alleged involvement in a hit-and-run back in April. Jones allegedly got into a car accident with a pregnant woman after running a red light, and fled the scene of the accident on foot.

Once all those issues are behind him, there is still no guarantee that Jones returns to action again.

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