- Date & Location: Saturday, October 30 @ Eithad Arena in Abu Dhabi
- Odds: Jan Blachowicz (-254) vs. Glover Teixeira (+214) via SportsBetting
- Prediction: Blachowicz by knockout
The UFC heads to Abu Dhabi for the first time since January of this year for UFC 267. While the event is a numbered fight card, reports are that it will not be a pay-per-view card. Instead, the event will reportedly air in the afternoon in the U.S. and ESPN+ will stream the card to subscribers of that service.
In the headlining bout, Jan Blachowicz looks to defend his light heavyweight crown for the second time against the No. 1 ranked contender Glover Teixeira.
Blachowicz won the vacant light heavyweight crown in Abu Dhabi in September 2020. He scored a knockout of Dominick Reyes to capture the belt Jon Jones vacated when he pursued a move to heavyweight. Blachowicz’s first title defense came in March when he defeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Blachowicz is on a five-fight winning streak.
Teixeira had a shot at UFC gold in 2014. He lost to Jones in that bout. He then went on a 5-4 run. The former title challenger turned things around in 2019 with a submission win over Karl Roberson. Teixeira is now on a five-fight winning streak. He has finishes in his two most recent outings.
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BLACHOWICZ vs. TEIXEIRA PREDICTION & PICK
Blachowicz has grown into one of the best strikers in the UFC light heavyweight division. He started his UFC career on a 2-4 run, but found his footing in fall 2017. Since then he has gone 9-1. One of the main reasons for his success is his improving striking. He has outstruck every opponent he has defeated in the UFC. He is a great counterstriker and can fight from southpaw and orthodox. Blachowicz also manages time and space very well. What takes Blachowicz to the next level is his power.
Teixeira is a knockout artist. He has always been one the most powerful strikers in the light heavyweight division. Where Teixeira might struggle here is that he likes to lead the dance and that could get him in trouble against Blachowicz.
Both men are good on the ground. Blachowicz showed his ability to take an opponent down and keep him down in the Adesanya fight, but that might have been misleading, as Adesanya is not a natural light heavyweight. Teixeira should be able to keep Blachowicz from getting the fight to the mat as he has good takedown defense.
This fight is more evenly matched than it might appear at a glance. However, I still think Blachowicz is the better fighter right now and that he’ll get the win.
Pick: Blachowicz -254 via BetOnline
BETTING VALUE WITH BLACHOWICZ
Blachowicz has developed into a fighter who has no weaknesses and that makes the odds for him to win somewhat appealing. One thing that makes me lean toward Blachowicz by knockout is that two of the three knockout losses Teixeira has sustained in his career have come during the past five years. He’s also been hurt a few times in his recent fights and come back to win those scraps, but those matchups were not against someone like Blachowicz. My prediction is that Blachowicz will get the win and that it will come by way of knockout.
Prediction: Blachowicz via knockout at -265 via Bovada
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Teixeira is going to be the sentimental pick in this fight. He is a good guy and has stayed relevant for years in a tough division. With that, fans are going to want to see him win a UFC title before he heads into the sunset. I don’t think that will happen. Where Teixeira is good, Blachowicz is better.
FIGHT STATS: BLACHOWICZ vs. TEIXEIRA
|Jan Blachowicz||Category||Glover Teixeira|
|3.59||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||3.75|
|2.79||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.84|
|1.18||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||2.04|
|0.2||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||1.0|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
This matchup is Teixeira’s last chance to claim UFC gold. He has to make the most of the opportunity because he doesn’t have the time to make another run up the rankings. As for Blachowicz, his goal is to retain the UFC light heavyweight title but to also put the Jon Jones era in the back of the minds of MMA fans.
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