#4-ranked light-heavyweight Glover Teixeira (22-4-0) knows what it’s like to be a streaking light-heavyweight. The Chuck-Liddell mentored Brazilian won his first five UFC bouts in impressive fashion before losing a humbling decision to then champion Jon Jones and a surprising decision to Phil Davis.
Now, he needs a win against hard-charging #6-ranked Ovince St. Preux (18-6-0) who appears to be on the right track after a humbling loss of his own to Ryan Bader.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
The UFC weigh-in towel got quite a workout this afternoon as several fighters needed it to make weight. And a few did not.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in with her picks on the main card:
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#14 RAY “THE TAZMEXICAN DEVIL” BORG (8-1-0) VS GEANE “PLUGA” HERRERA (8-0-0)
Note: Ray Borg missed weight, coming in at 126.75 pounds. He will be fined 20% of his purse.
Wiseman: This is going to be a chess match on the mat, with both guys trying to submit the other. Herrera is making his debut to the UFC, so there are going to be nerves there. The interesting fact about this match is the weight. Borg missed weight, so did he just not diet right? How was his training camp? That tends to throw fighters for a loop, but Borg has been in the UFC longer and with higher-level opponents. With the grappling and speed of Borg, he has the edge., regardless of his weight issues.
Wiseman Prediction: Ray “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg via submission.
#4 SARA MCMANN (8-2-0) VS #7 AMANDA “THE LIONESS” NUNES (10-4-0)
Note: McMann missed weight, coming in at 136. 5 pounds.
Wiseman: Let’s be honest: Nunes is going to go on her back. So far in her career, we’ve seen her either win decisively or lose decisively. The problem with her going against McMann is the wrestling aspect. There is no question about McMann’s game plan, it’s to get Nunes to the mat and quickly. McMann has great ground-and-pound, which will put Nunes in new territority. Nunes on the mat is going to take away her biggest weapon, her striking. It’s going to be a long night for Nunes. Prediction: McMann via decision.
Wiseman Prediction: Sara McMann via decision.
JARED “THE BIG SHOW” ROSHOLT (12-2-0) VS TIMOTHY JOHNSON (9-1-0)
Wiseman: Johnson is the more aggressive fighter, who doesn’t mind eating a few punches to close the distance. I see Johnson rushing in at the beginning of the fight, using the clinch to do damage, eventually going for a takedown, and then a KO. Johnson has power and is always pushing forward. The opposite is true for Rosholt.
Wiseman Prediction: Timothy Johnson via TKO.
#15 DEREK BRUNSON (13-3-0) VS SAM “SMILE’N” ALVEY (25-6-0, 1NC)
Wiseman: While Brunson is a wrestler and Alvey has no takedown defence, but Alvey doesn’t need long to change a fight. We saw this against Dylan Andrews. Alvey just needs to connect with anything and the lights are out. Brunson showed that he has an OK chin against Yoel Romero, but you need more than that against Alvey. The precise counter striking of Alvey will put Brunson in a new time zone real quick.
Wiseman Prediction: Sam “Smile’N” Alvey via TKO.
#5 MICHAEL “THE MENACE” JOHNSON (17-8-0) VS #12 BENEIL DARIISH (11-1-0)
Wiseman: This is a submission fighter versus a striker. Sure, Daruish claims that he can strike, but Johnson has been in there with the likes of Edson Barboza and came out the winner. That was a huge win and an indication of the fighter Johnson has become. Johnson has worked on his takedown defense and it shows. His striking is only getting better with each fight, and he fights long with speed. Daruish just hasn’t fought the level of opponents that Johnson has, thus he hasn’t evolved to his level yet. Prediction: Johnson via decision.
Wiseman Prediction: Michael “The Menace” Johnson via decision.
#4 GLOVER TEIXEIRA (22-4-0) VS #6 OVINCE ST. PREUX (18-6-0)
Wiseman: This is going to be a standup war since both fighters like to bang. They have KO power and will certainly put on a show and they want to prove a point in this match. For OSP, he is more diverse with his striking and has a speed advantage. Even if Teixeira does go for a takedown, OSP has better defence and is faster to get back to his feet. Teixeira, when put against an aggressive opponent, tends to move straight backwards and take a beating. We saw this against Jones. Granted Teixeira is coming off two losses, but OSP is just going to keep him guessing. Teixeira is predictable and it’s this that’s allowed his opponents to overcome his skills.