UFC 267: Blachowicz vs Teixeira - Predictions - 10/30/21
Jan Błachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira
When I first heard this fight was being made I thought “Man, Blachowicz is going to destroy Glover”. Pretty much immediately writing off the Brazilian as I envisioned Blachowicz’s power and striking ability overwhelming him. Then I remembered the half dozen times I picked against Teixeira with the same certainty against guys who boast similar power. At that point I thought it would be best to dig into this a little deeper. So let’s do it.
Since losing to Thiago Santos, Blachowicz rattled off 5 straight victories leading into this event. Along the way he knocked out Dominick Reyes to secure the vacant light heavyweight title and then most recently spoiling Israel Adesanya’s bid at becoming double champ. He’s largely known as a technical striker with exceptional power in both hands. What might not be known is that he holds a BJJ blackbelt and actually has more submission victories than knockouts throughout his career. Granted most of those subs came pre-UFC entry but my point is he’s a threat everywhere. He’s also shown the ability to mix in takedowns to keep his opponent guessing and when he does get a fighter down, they don’t get off their backs quickly.
Glover Teixeira has been a long time staple in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He was unsuccessful in his first title fight (vs Jon Jones back in 2014), but he has turned away many of the UFC’s top light heavyweights since. He’s currently on a 5 fight winning streak and one would think at 42 years old, this may be his last shot at UFC gold. Mind you Blachowicz is no spring chicken at 38 either and this sort of thing seems to be less of a factor in the higher weight classes but it’s still worth mentioning.
Also worth mentioning is the fact Teixeira is on another level in the BJJ department which is saying a lot when two blackbelts go up against each other. Although it does seem unlikely either guy will snag a surprise submission from the bottom, both fighters will be quite dangerous if provided with top control for any length of time. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Teixeira’s fight IQ as of late. Combine that with his heart and he’s never truly out of a fight. The way he handled Anthony Smith as well as coming back against Thiago Santos was incredibly impressive. The thing with this one is Blachowicz has also been fighting a great deal smarter so there’s a low chance he’s going to get rope-a-doped or let his guard down late. He will also be the bigger of the two men and will most likely use that to keep the fight standing where he has the best chance for a finish.
It’s actually quite a bit more difficult to call once you get into the weeds of it. But ultimately seeing Teixeira get wobbled and dropped against Santos several times by a couple of telegraphed shots has me still siding with Blachowicz. Given the same situation, Blachowicz has the fight IQ to ensure Teixeira probably doesn’t escape. He also won’t gas out and let Teixiera reverse position like Santos did.
I’m going to tempt fate by fading Glover one last time.
Prediction: Blachowicz by KO
Quick picks in bold.
Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen
Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker
Alexander Volkov vs. Marcin Tybura
Li Jingliang vs. Khamzat Chimaev (Just an fyi Chimaev had trouble making weight and was helped off stage by his team)
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Amanda Ribas vs. Virna Jandiroba
Ricardo Ramos vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Albert Duraev vs. Roman Kopylov
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Benoît St. Denis
Michał Oleksiejczuk vs. Shamil Gamzatov
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Lerone Murphy
Hu Yaozong vs. Andre Petroski
Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Allan Nascimento