This Saturday sees the UFC back in the apex, Las Vegas, with Thiago Santos headlining the card against Glover Teixeira.
The card has a lot of fantastic fights. I’ll go through 3 of the standout bouts that you won’t want to miss while giving a prediction on how I see it playing out.
Giga Chikadze vs Jamey Simmons
The featherweight division has a fantastic fight on the prelims on Saturday night. Well, fantastic for Giga Chikadze.
Let’s start off with UFC newcomer Jamey Simmons. Simmons is a top wrestler, winning the Wisconsin state championship. Other than that, his skill set is not super well rounded. To add to this, ‘The Afro Samurai’ stands at a short, for featherweight, 5ft5. So closing the distance against the 8 inches taller Giga Chikadze may be difficult for the debutante.
The Georgian has the opportunity to showcase his high level kickboxing as he has that in his arsenal. He is a tall 145lb fighter standing at a very lean 6ft with good hand speed and snapping kicks. The ‘Ninja’ knows how to use his range very effectively as shown by his 4 wins in the UFC being all by decision.
That’s how I see this fight playing out. A unanimous decision win for Chikadze. He has the ability to end fights but Simmons may be too tough to finish in just 3 rounds.
Andrei Arlovski vs Tanner Boser
A heavy hitting heavyweight fight sees UFC veteran Andrei Arlovski take on the man with a mullet on a fantastic run of finishes, Tanner Boser.
Andrei Arlovski looked great against Philipe Lins when he took a decision victory back in May. He controlled the fight well and showed that he is still a high level UFC heavyweight. Despite this, it should be said that ‘The Pitbull’ is not as ferocious as he once was. Arlovksi is 41 years of age now, which is still old for the UFC’s oldest division.
His competitor Tanner Boser is a seriously good fighter. The Canadian has two KO wins in 2020 that showed off his power and crazy speed. Speed at heavyweight is hard to come by so Boser’s ability is refreshing to see in his weight class. ‘The Bulldozer’ is one of them ‘lighter’ heavyweights that maybe could cut down a weight class as he tend to weigh in around the 230lb mark. Allbeit he is still a pretty lean 230 so the it might be a difficult task.
This is a very interesting fight. Will Arlovski’s experience see him through the fight and get him a decision victory or will Boser be too quick and powerful. I think option two. I’ve got Boser winning this within the first two rounds by KO.
Thiago Santos vs Glover Teixeira
Main Event time. Thiago Santos is facing Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight title shot eliminator. This is a huge opportunity for both men in the wide open 205lb weight class.
After Jan Blachowicz’s victory over Dominic Reyes in September, the next in line for the title shot will be the winner of this fight, right?
Glover Teixeira is getting better with age. He was sensational against Anthony Smith when he forced a stoppage in the 5th round after dominating the entire fight. Lionheart is not an easy fight so the way Glover dispatched of him was next level. The Brazillian has very good grappling, strking and jiu-jitsu and will no doubt put up a great fight.
Fellow Brazilian Thiago Santos also has it all going for him. Before his fight with Jon Jones, he was on a 7-fight win streak. On that win streak was the current champion Jan Blachowicz back in 2019 when Santos knocked him out in the third round with a swift left hook whilst on the back foot.
Santos has all the fundamentals nailed down, similarly to Glover, but he has an edge in the speed and power department. This is the man that some people think beat Jon Jones, with one leg!
I think we are in stall for a Santos finish in this one. It will be a fantastic fight regardless.