Dubai: Less than a month after bravely fighting off a terrifying invader who broke into his family home in the middle of the night, Texan Anthony Smith finds himself in a real fight against Brazil’s Glover Teixiera at the UFC’s Fight Night in Florida on Thursday. This is the second UFC event staged during the coronavirus pandemic and less then five days after the much-heralded UFC 249 on Saturday, May 9.
Describing the incident, Smith said: “I’m not lying when I said it was one of the toughest fights I’ve had in my whole life. I went into that fight ready to die.
Nobody smart breaks into a house in the middle of the night unarmed. … When they break in at night, it’s to hurt people.”
That aside, the Smith (MMA record 47-33) and Texeira (37-30) light heavyweight title fight is the highlight of classy 11-event card where the co-main event looks an equally spectacular match-up between the seasoned Wisconsin native Ben Rothwell (49-37) and Haitian-American (37-24) Ovince Saint Preux | Heavyweight
Thursday’s Fight Night card also features several fights that had been scheduled for early events that were cancelled due to COVID-19 including a
A middleweight bout between Karl Roberson and Marvin Vettori, a second heavyweight bout between former UFC Champion Andrei Arlovski and Philipe Lins (and a women’s bantamweight bout between Sijara Eubanks and Sarah Moras.
Once again, the event will take place with no spectators and in adherance to the strict guidelines laid down the authorities in Florida and the athletics state commission.
All 22 fighters who will attempt to continue the UFC’s momentum on Thursday night at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, have successfully stepped on the scale in Jacksonville,
Smith goes into the main event - having won four out of his past five fights while the 40-year-old Teixeira has won three in a row. Both fighters are clearly in the form of their life and fight fans can expect some more fireworks - like they relished when Justin Gaethje destroyed Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on Saturday.
The was originally supposed to take place on April 25 at Smith’s home state of Nebraska where he has fought only once in the past seven years.
A slow starter in the MMA, however, he has over the past four years amassed a 8-2 record inside the Octagon. In 2019, he challenged Jon Jones for the championship losing by unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, Teixeira, who also lost to Jones way back in 2014, comes into the fight with a string of wins over Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba and Nikita Krylov.
Whoever wins islikely at least one more victory before vying for a title shot again.
The event will air on UFC Arabia starting at approximately 2am (UAE) with the preliminaries and the maind card from 5am.
Last 5 fights
Win: Alexander Gustafsson (SUB4, June 1, 2019)
Loss: Jon Jones (UD, March 2, 2019)
Win: Volkan Oezdemir (SUB3, Oct. 27, 2018)
Win: Mauricio Rua (KO1, July 22, 2018)
Win: Rashad Evans (KO1, June 9, 2018)
Last 5 fights
Win: Nikita Krylov (SD, Sept. 14, 2019)
Win: Ion Cutelaba (SUB2, April 27, 2019)
Win: Karl Roberson (SUB1, Jan. 19, 2019)
Loss: Corey Anderson (UD, July 22, 2018)
Win: Misha Cirkunov (TKO1, Dec. 16, 2017)
10: Finishes in the UFC by Teixeira, tying him with Jon Jones and Ovince Saint Preux for the most among active light heavyweights.
29: Finishes by Smith - 17 knockouts, 12 submissions - among his 32 career victories. Twelve of his 14 losses also came by finish (eight KOs, four subs).
THURSDAY’S FULL FIGHT CARD
Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira | Light heavyweight
Ben Rothwell vs. Ovince Saint Preux | Heavyweight
Alexander Hernandez vs. Drew Dober | Lightweight
Ricky Simon vs. Ray Borg | Men’s bantamweight
Karl Roberson vs. Marvin Vettori | Middleweight
Andrei Arlovski vs. Philipe Lins | Heavyweight
Michael Johnson vs. Thiago Moises | Lightweight
Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras | Women’s bantamweight
Gabriel Benitez vs. Omar Morales | Lightweight
Hunter Azure vs. Brian Kelleher | Men’s bantamweight
Chase Sherman vs. Isaac Villanueva | Heavyweight