Wednesday night fights? YES! The second of three fight cards in a week have come and gone. UFC on ESPN+ 29: Smith vs. Teixeira was a fun card.
Here are some fights matchups to make for some of the winners and losers of the night.
Teixeira beat down Anthony Smith in the main event. It looked like it was going to be a quick night as Smith was much quicker on the feet. As the fight went on, Smith started to slow down and Teixeira took full advantage. At 40 years of age, Teixeira doesn’t seem to want to slow down anytime soon. He is on a four-fight win streak and wants another shot at the title. A fight against fellow No. 3 Brazilian Thiago Santos could be his final statement for another shot. Santos is coming off a huge knee surgery and is looking to bounce back from a title loss.
Smith looked great for a round in a half and then Teixeira took over and completely dominated him. It was hard to watch. It is going to be a lengthy layoff for Smith. When he comes back a fight against No. 5 Corey Anderson is the fight to make. Both men will be coming off devastating losses and need to get back into contention.
Rothwell won a close split decision over Ovince Saint Preux who made his heavyweight debut. Rothwell continued to walk down Saint Preux and pressure him. Rothwell looked good and is always a scary opponent because of his odd but powerful striking. He called out No. 10 Aleksei Oleinik who just won at UFC 249. It makes sense for Rothwell but not so much for Oleinik who is ranked much higher. If he doesn’t get Oleinik, a fight against surging Ciryl Gane would be a great test for both heavyweights.
Ovince Saint Preux
Saint Preux had his heavyweight debut spoiled. One big positive from the fight was that he was able to eat Rothwell’s punches which not a lot of fighters can do. Saint Preux is most of the inconsistent contenders as he wins one then loses one then wins only to lose again. I’m not sure a run at heavyweight is going to last but if he decides to stay at that weight a fight against Justin Tafa is interesting.
Dober looked incredible in his TKO win against No. 15 lightweight Alexander Hernandez. Dober is on a three-fight win streak and is a real dark horse to get into title contention by 2021. He needs to work on his take down defense as Hernandez took him down pretty easily when he was hurt. Dober will definitely have a number next to his name next week. A fight against No. 8 Al Iaquinta will really test if he is ready for the cream of the crop.
Hernandez has now lost two of his last three. He didn’t look bad, it was just Dober was not going to be denied per se. Hernandez is still young into his career, so his stock is not going to fall much. A fight against No. 14 Gregor Gillespie would be a good tough comeback fight. Both fighters have outstanding wrestling so it would be fun to watch.
Simon is back in the win column after losing two straight and looked good doing it. He really mixed up his style well in his win and ate some good punches from Ray Borg. His standup has been improving and is no longer just a great wrestler. John Dodson would be a great next fight for Simon and would be entertaining to say the least.
Arlovski continues to show up and show he is not done yet. He outpointed Philipe Lins, a tough young contender who won the PFL heavyweight tournament. A match up against fellow veteran Fabricio Werdum is a fight that should have taken place already but hasn’t for some odd reason.
Moises pulled off a slick submission over Michael Johnson handing him his third straight loss. My heart breaks for Johnson as he keeps putting on good performances and then gets caught. Moises was getting beat up in the first round and then turned it around with a heel hook. Devonte Smith is name that would make an interesting matchup for Moises.
Eubanks snapped her two-fight losing streak by completely dominating Sarah Moras in her bantamweight debut. Prior to moving up to bantamweight, Eubanks was one of the top contenders at flyweight, but struggled making weight. I’m not sure if she looked better at bantamweight or not to be honest. A fight against No. 11 Lina Lansberg is a fight that would keep moving her up the division and is a tough fight.
Kelleher’s nickname was in full effect tonight as he knocked out Hunter Azure in the second round. Kelleher is now on a two-fight winning streak and called his shot after his win by calling out “Suga” Sean O’ Malley who is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC right now. The fight makes total sense if the UFC wants to take the slow route with O’ Malley and not give him a ranked opponent already.
Two cards down, one to go. UFC on ESPN 8: Overeem vs. Harris is next and takes place May 16 , 2020.