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Glover Teixeira (24-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 36 Weight: 205 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Pat Cummins (11-7-15)
  • Camp: Team Teixeira/ATT (Danbury, CT)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   15 KO victories
+   16 first round finishes
+   6 Submission wins
+   KO Power
+   Solid boxing technique
^   Accurate R. hand-L. hook
+   Good head/economy of movement
^   Rarely throws self out of position
+   Competent takedown defense
+   Underrated wrestling
+   Improved get-up ability/urgency
^   Uses under-hooks or turtles out
–    Struggles against the fence

UFC on FOX 2: Evans v Davis

Rashad Evans (19-4-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 36 Weight: 205 lbs Reach: 75″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Ryan Bader (10-3-15)
  • Camp: Blackzilians (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Former UFC LHW Champion
+   TUF 2 Heavyweight Winner
+   All-American Wrestler(Michigan State)
+   8 KO victories
+   4 first round finishes
+   KO Power
+   Excellent footwork
^   Closes distance quickly
+   Good head movement
+   Devastating right hand
+   Solid transition game
^   Favors level-changing double
+   Efficient ground striker
+   Scrambles back to feet well
+/-Gets hurt but recovers well
+/-Overall timing based game


Florida’s newly minted main event is a light-heavyweight battle between the resurgent Glover Teixeira and the former champion Rashad Evans. Originally slated to face Shogun Rua, Evans will now take on Teixeira as he attempts to find the form that got him gold. Although stepping in as a replacement, Glover has had five weeks to prepare for this bout as he now finds himself in a main event opportunity following two spectacular wins.

In a matchup that has many potential intangibles, I feel that each fighter’s skillset should line up fairly clear in regards to advantages. For my money, this match will be won by the fighter who can successfully force his opposition to the fence. Both men show similar offensive strengths when forcing their opposition into this space. That said, they both also show defensive liabilities when it is their backs that are to the cage.

Although the space between the inner black Octagon lines and fence serve as a kill zone for both fighters, each man approaches the execution of attacks differently. Evans will utilize movement and exaggerated feints to stifle opponents while setting up his big right hand or reactive shots.

Teixeira demonstrates a more traditional stalking approach, as the Brazilian’s economy of movement keeps him in a constant state of defensive & offensive readiness. Wielding a dangerous right-hand of his own, I feel that Glover’s left hook will be the punch to look for in this fight. Often intiating exchanges with his right cross, Teixeira will create chaos that draws out his opposition’s defense, allowing for his accurate left hand to serve as a clean-up hitter.

Glover’s offensive sensibilities aside, I feel that Evans defensive tendencies will be the conduit that could spell trouble should he find his back to the fence. Although Rashad has always had solid head movement, he often dips and leans his head heavily to the right. This tendency may be accentuated when the cage prevents backward or angled escapes.

However, playing the pressure game is a two-way street in this particular matchup. Although Glover is menacing when moving with momentum, he has shown to struggle when forced to fight off the cage(as seen in his fights with Jones & Davis). If Evans can corral Teixeira on these terms, the former champion has solid clinch striking & grappling tools that can help sway things in his direction. Rashad also has one of the best transitional games in MMA, in regards to his ability to smoothly move off strikes and into explosive level changing shots.

That said, Teixeira seldom throws himself out of position, which limits the opportunities to be taken down. Even then, Glover is no slouch when it comes to counter wrestling, as he displays excellent get-up technique & urgency. It is important to note that speed has been a key factor in the former champions success, as Evans game is largely timing based. Considering that these attributes tend to go first in aging fighters, this could be a troubling trend for Rashad. With signature performances and championship form furthering itself in the rear-view mirror, Evans will be in for a rough night should he fail to turn back the clock.

Official Pick: Teixeira – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Teixeira – KO (round 1).


Tecia Torres (7-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’1″ Age: 26 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 61″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Jocelyn Lybarger (12-12-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 20 Alum
+   Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   Karate & Kickboxing Accolades
+   Excellent footwork
^   Uses angles & lateral movement
^   Closes distance quickly
+   Manages range well
+   High volume striker
^   Averages 45 strikes per round
+   Will shift stances
+   Hard side kicks
^   Often off combos & R. round kicks
+   Good counter wrestling
^   Strong hips & balance
+   Solid positional awareness
^   In scrambles or on top


Rose Namajunas (4-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’5″ Age: 23 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 65″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Paige VanZant (12-10-15)
  • Camp: Grudge Training Center (Denver, CO)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 20 Finalist
+   Black Belt in Karate & TKD
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   3 first round finishes
+   4 Submission wins
+   Good distance management
+   Shifts stances well
^   Going forward or backward
+   Accurate shot selection
+   Excellent kicking variety
^   Front, leg, and head kicks
+   Improved wrestling
^   Body lock takedowns
+   Solid transition game
^   Looks/floats towards back
+   Dangerous Arm Bars
^   Explosive hips


The co-main event on FOX comes strong with a showdown between the strawweight divisions’ top contenders, as “Thug” Rose Namajunas faces off against Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres. Since coming off TUF 20, Tecia has maintained an undefeated proffessional record as she sets her sights on the title. A finalist from that same season of TUF, Rose will look to avenge the first professional loss of her career in this rematch with Torres.

In what is easily the tightest matchup on the main card, a sensible argument can be made for either woman. With that in mind, I will attempt to examine the most probable paths to victory for both fighters.

Starting off on the feet, is a battle of two technicians with different approaches. Tecia, the more Karate influenced striker, will use excellent lateral movement and angles to fire-off high volume blitzes. Starting off her career as a southpaw, we have seen Torres tighten up her fundamentals since moving to American Top Team, as she now primarily operates from an orthodox stance.

However, like her opposition, Tecia will often shift stances mid-combination. Often finishing her combos with low-to-high right round kicks, Torres will then parlay her hip position and momentum into powerful side kicks with the same leg. Not only does this subtly open up her southpaw options, but it also allows her to exit at angles and reset safely(a la Holly Holm).

Although Torres shows improved head movement, her aggression still leaves for small opportunities to counter. If Tecia does not maintain discipline, an accurate counter striker like Rose could very well make her pay. Stalking forward in a more measured fashion, Namajunas is technically crafty coming forward and off the counter. In their first meeting, we saw Rose have success in backstepping/baiting Tecia’s attacks into her shifting check-hook counters.

Even though these scenarios will likely present themselves again, I feel Rose’s improved straight punches may serve her best. Should Namajunas time & intercept Torres early, she could disrupt the tiny tornados momentum and tip the scales in her favor. That said, I suspect we will see Rose continue her recent trend of taking fights to the floor.

Demonstrating serious strides in her wrestling and positional grappling, Namajunas is steadily filling her holes and connecting the dots of her overall game. Should she ground Torres, Rose displays good top control and a menacing ability to float to the back and make life difficult. Although Tecia showed off her submission defense by escaping Rose’s most dangerous spots in their first outing, Namajunas was still able to control her once on top, as I feel she should carry the edge on the floor.

That said, achieving takedowns may not come so easily for Rose in this matchup, especially since her attempts primarily come from body-locks. Regardless of the fact that Torres is hard to get a hold of, her natural base & balance make her difficult to take down in close. Fueled by her athleticism and under-hook awareness, Tecia’s improvements to her wrestling will be a key factor in this fight. Torres also displays an improved transition game, particularly in her level changes into takedowns.

Should Torres be the one the who finds herself topside, she shows strong submission defense and a niche for positional awareness that could keep her safe and even earn her rounds. I am a huge fan of “Thug” Rose, and although I think she is more dangerous and well-rounded than Tecia, I feel that stylistically she can be stifled should she not find a finish. And given Tecia’s durability, defense, and non-stop work rate, I could easily see her judge-friendly volume earning her the close rounds once again.

Official Pick: Torres – Decision

Official Outcome: Namajunas – Decision.


Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 27 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Dec win / Rafael Dos Anjos (4-19-14)
  • Camp: American Kickboxing Academy (San Jose/Dagestan)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   2x Sambo World Champion
+   7 KO victories
+   10 first round finishes
+   7 Submission wins
+   Superb transition game
^   Technically sound grappling
+   Strong & relentless inside clinch
^   Chains together trips & throws
–    2 year lay-off
+/-Aggressive entries
^   Counter availabilities


Darrell Horcher (12-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 28 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Stephen Regman (10-31-15)
  • Camp: Unrivaled Athletics (Pennsylvania)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   CFFC Lightweight Champion
+   6 KO victories
+   3 first round finishes
+   1 Submission win
+   KO Power
+   Good check right hook
+   Dangerous left hand
^   Offensively & off the counter
–    Seems to struggle off back
–    Lacks high-level competition
–    Short notice fight


After two years outside of the Octagon battling injuries instead of opponents, Khabib Nurmagomedov will finally get to make his return against Darrell Horcher. Originally slated to headline the card, this match was sadly altered due to an injury forcing Tony Ferguson to withdraw from the fight. Stepping in on just under two weeks notice, Darrell Horcher will attempt to shock the world by knocking off the top contender in the sports deepest division.

With matchups that feature on-paper disparities such as this one, it is easy to get swept away in the social current, and also away from our own eyes. Recent examples of Dan Kelly’s victory of Carlos Jr., or Tom Breese’s close call with Nakamura, have provided to be healthy reminders of what is the intangible Rubix cube of MMA. Although it is my duty as an Analyst to provide the most probable paths for both fighters, I can tell you without hyperbole that Horcher has a very tangible path to success.

As much as I would love to pontificate on the brilliance and intricacies of Nurmagomedov’s transitional grappling game, I can say confidently that most of us are on the same page in regards to his advantages on the floor. However, the aggression that fuels his success in grappling can potentially cost Khabib in striking exchanges. Similarly, to his Dagestani counterpart Islam Makhachev, Nurmagomedov’s blitzing entries although effective, leave him susceptible to counters.

Although there is not a lot of footage on Horcher, what is available shows that he has a taste for the counter shot. A stalking southpaw by trade, Darrell demonstrates devastating power in his left hand, as he has dropped his opposition on multiple occasions amongst his stoppage wins. If he cannot catch Khabib cleanly, then he will need to get his respect early & often to maintain any semblance of momentum.

That said, Nurmagomedov has shown improved head movement off of his strikes and entries since working with the American Kickboxing Academy. Once Khabib finds his way into clinch space, except a relentless wave of takedown chains. Whether it is his trips & tosses from the body-lock or his single-leg repertoire of high-crotches & pipe-running, Nurmagomedov can do it all. Although bigger dogs have found ways to win in MMA, I expect to this to resemble the bear attack in “The Revenant” should this contest hit the ground.

Official Pick: Nurmagomedov – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Nurmagomedov – TKO (round 2)

Swanson 1

Cub Swanson (21-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 32 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Submission loss / Max Holloway (4-18-15)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (New Mexico)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   11 KO victories
+   4 Submission wins
+   7 first round finishes
+   KO Power
+   Athletic & Agile
+   Consistent pace & pressure
+   Excellent footwork
^   Shifts, angles, and darts well
+   Creative & dynamic striker
^   Variates stances & attacks
+   Good head movement
^   Solid pocket awareness
+   Improved takedown defense
+   Active guard
^   Looks for submissions or gets up
–    Struggles with positional grapplers


Hacran Dias (23-3-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 31 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 69″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Levan Makashvili (6-27-15)
  • Camp: Nova Uniao (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   4 KO victories
+   8 Submission wins
+   7 first round finishes
+   Good base & balance
^   79% takedown defense rate
+   Underrated wrestling
^   Favors takedowns from fence
+   Strong inside the clinch
+   Good positional awareness
^   Transitions well on top
+   Improved boxing technique
^   Moves head well
+   Hard leg kicks
+/-Consistently conservative
–    Pace steadily fades
^   Gas tank bares watching


Kicking off the main card on FOX is solid featherweight fight as the always exciting Cub Swanson squares off against Nova Uniao staple, Hacran Dias. Coming off back to back loses for the first time in his career, Cub Swanson comes in motivated to right his ship and start another winning streak. Standing in his way is Hacran Dias, who despite coming off two wins, will be looking to establish momentum of his own after battling through injuries & inconsistencies.

Given both fighters striking styles, I suspect that distance management will be the name of the game. Swanson, for instance, thrives off of distance as he confidently explores and explodes through space. His movement will be his biggest advantage over Hacran Dias, and a key factor for him in this matchup.

In a similar styling to his stablemates, Dias demonstrates the classic Muay Thai marching of his camp. Displaying a consistent economy of movement and a disciplined standing guard, Hacran will steadily stalk his opponents down, firing hard leg kicks when appropriate. His noted improvements to his head movement and boxing have assisted him in this approach.

That said, Hacran is more of a stationary striker in comparison to Cub, as the Brazilian will often plot when coming forward. Swanson traditionally does well against this style of movement, as the dynamic striker excels when given the space to operate. Should Dias fail to effectively cut off Cub, it could allow Swanson to lead the dance and dictate this fight’s momentum.

With Hacran being a stronger starter than he is a finisher, he will likely have to create and capitalize on opportunities early to impose his presence on Swanson. On the other end of that equation is the consistent pace & pressure of Cub, as his high-volume output could very well win him the close rounds here. The Brazilian’s most probable path to victory will likely depend on his ability to get this fight to the floor. Once on top, Hacran’s second-nature transition game could stifle Swanson, who typically struggles with positional grapplers.

Like many fighters who hail from Nova Uniao, Dias is very underrated in his ability to wrestle. Although not shy to attempt reactive shots, Hacran is particularly effective off the fence. That said, I am not so sure he can consistently corral & control Cub in these areas, as I suspect Swanson’s activity earns him a nod in a tightly contested affair.

Official Pick: Swanson – Decision

Official Outcome: Swanson – Decision

  • Dariush def. Chiesa
  • Pennington def. Correia
  • Ponzinibbio def. McGee
  • Dodson def. Gamburyan
  • Brown def. Graves
  • Makhachev def. Dober
  • Bamgbose def. Ferreira
  • Akhmedov def. Zaleski dos Santos

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Khabib Nurmagomedov
-Glover Teixeira
-Beneil Dariush

Low Tier Picks:

-Cezar Ferreira
-Tecia Torres
-Manny Gamburyan

Pieces for your parlay:

-Islam Makhachev
-Glover Teixeira
-Beneil Dariush

Props worth looking at(5Dimes.eu):

-Beneil Dariush – by Submission: +420
-Namajunas/Torres – Over: -230
-Glover Teixeira – by TKO/KO: +250

Fights to avoid:

-Bamgbose vs Ferreira
-Swanson vs Dias
-Pennington vs Correia

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit MixedMartialAnalyst.com and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws MMALatestNews.com

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