Pre-fight Analysis

Jan Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira – UFC 267 Preview

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In the main event of UFC 267, the oldest men of the division will face off in a deserving title battle with Jan Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira. Both combatants are representing the top of the light heavyweight division with each on a five-fight win streak and additionally having a combined age of 79. Defending Polish Champion Blachowicz will be looking to out-strike the top contender from Brazil Teixeira who will be seeking ground and pound. Who will walk away from UFC 267 with the titles and gold?

Jan Blachowicz – UFC Champion

With a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and a world champion Muay Thai fighter, it may come as a surprise that Jan Blachowicz struggled in his early UFC run. The Polish fighter in 2017 was nearly cut as he merely had two wins with four losses in the organization. It says a great amount of this fighter’s will, grit, and determination that he had turned his career around and became a world champion. In his UFC run Blachowicz has defeated particularly notable fighters such as middleweight contender Jared Cannonier, former UFC Champion Luke Rockhold,  Strikeforce, and multi-time BJJ world champion Ronaldo Jacare Souza, top Bellator fighter Corey Anderson top contender Dominick Reyes,  and current UFC Champion Israel Adesanya

Blachowicz was a defending KSW champion, struggled in his career, and became a defending UFC champion. After having a child and being in his late 30’s the Polish Witcher fan is finding his best career success. At UFC 267 he will face a stiff test against a strong veteran of MMA.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: In this handout image provided by UFC, (R-L) Jan Blachowicz of Poland punches Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in their UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Glover Teixeira – Perpetual Contender

Making his professional MMA debut in 2002, and UFC debut in 2012, Glover Teixeira has forever shown great determination and grit in his MMA career. On the MMA Sucka Podcast editor Frazer Krohn had pointed out Glover may be the fighter with the longest gap in between UFC title shots (other than Royce Gracie) with seven years. Teixeira originally fought for a UFC title against Jon Jones in 2014. At this time Teixeira and Jones were both undefeated in the UFC. Teixeira would lose this fight and would earn five wins and four losses in his next bouts before picking up five straight wins.

In his UFC career, Teixeira has defeated notable fighters such as top UFC contenders Thiago Santos & Anthony Smith, middleweight contender Jared Cannonier, and former UFC Champions Rashad Evans & Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. With such a long career the Brazilian contender has had to adjust his style to better accommodate his advanced age. Early in his UFC run, he was a close-range controlled brawler, and as his career progressed he’s developed into a top position ground and pound style fighter. He will face a huge test against the tough and strong Blachowicz at UFC 267.

MMA Junkie also notes that “Teixeira’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are most in divisional history.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 07: (R-L) Glover Teixeira of Brazil takes down Thiago Santos of Brazil in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Jan Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira at UFC 267

Both fighters are tough and have strong wills, and have defeated great fighters in their career, but let’s talk about what habits each fighter has. Contrary to what many MMA pundits say, Blachowicz is not a brawling power puncher. Instead, he is a very tactical, controlled striker. He will enter and exit exchanges on different angles, he engages in his chosen exchanges and loves a left hook. He mixes high and low strikes well and has a range of kicks to his arsenal. Defensively Blachowicz dodges his opponents’ strikes just by a few inches because he focuses on moving his feet first defensively rather than shelling up. He also circles out from the cage well and tries to control the center making it hard to try and corner him. Tactical striker with great footwork Adesanya struggled to push Blachowicz against the cage and could barely anything of significance on him. Blachowicz outstruck Adesanya in their five-round fight 184 to 99 strikes.

Teixeira has adjusted his style over the years. The Brazilian would shell up and try to enter close-range exchanges to batter his opponents. Now, he is looking to time good takedowns and flex his jiu-jitsu intelligence. In his last bout against Santos he earned four takedowns and had over 9 minutes of control, and previous to that he fought Smith of which he controlled the bout for over 7 minutes. From his controlling top position Teixeira looks to land ground and pound.

Defensively Teixeira leaves much to be desired. He is often flat-footed which has allowed his last few opponents to land well on him. Despite winning the overall fight Smith out-landed Teixeira early and Santos was able to earn a knockdown, plus he gave up center control continuously. Defensively he shells up and uses tight head movement with shoulder rolls, which means he is not evading out of danger but instead he stays in range. When he tries to counter strike he will often over-commit on strikes, putting his chin ahead of his knee, a great stance to get hit in.

Blachowicz will be looking to outpoint and outstrike the Brazilian contender. The Polish champion, known for his power, will be aiming for a mix of strikes but particularly his left hook. Teixeira will be moving to the inside range to earn takedowns. From the top position he will be looking to win the fight with control and ground and pound. Blachowicz will try to prevent this using distance control, striking from range, and circling out from the cage.

UFC 267 is a great moment in MMA history as it is great to see fighters who earned their titles through toughness and determination. Neither fighter has ever taken the easy path to a title, each man is willing to fight anyone. Both have had the highest of successes and lowest of career hardships. Now, these two tough veterans meet in Abu Dhabi for the coveted UFC light heavyweight championship.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Glover Teixeira congratulates Jan Blachowicz of Poland after his UFC light heavyweight championship fight against Israel Adesanya of Nigeria during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

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Tim Wheaton has been with the sport of MMA since 2005. MMA & Boxing training and fight experience. From Canada, now in Scotland.
Check him out here and twitter.com/TimWheatonMMA

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