UFC 275 goes down this Saturday live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Two title fights feature on the card as flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko looks to defend her belt against Talia Santos. The headline bout sees fan favourite champion, Glover Teixeira take on #2 ranked, Jiri Prochazka.
We take a look at how the champion, Teixeira can defeat Prochazka, who is currently enjoying a run of 10 consecutive knockouts.
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How Does Glover Texeira Retain His Belt?
Avoid the uppercut at all costs
Unfortunately for the champion, Texiera, he has a large hole in his game when it comes to a certain strike. The uppercut is a strike that the Brazillian appears susceptible to. He suffer a big uppercut knockout at the hands of Anthony Johnson in just 13 seconds.
He was also served a devastating knockout at the hands of Alexander Gustaffson as a result of the uppercut. The swede landed three uppercuts in a row, each of which seemingly froze Texeira. Following the three uppercuts, Gustaffson finished the fight with a right hook. When Teixeira faced Ion Cutelaba, although he won the fight, Cutelaba was able to land the uppercut with ease on Texeira.
In his two UFC fights thus far, we’ve seen Prochazka hold his fans extremely low and utilise a lot of upper body movement to avoid strikes. This also means that his strikes come from unusual angles, especially the uppercut. Fighters are used to seeing shots come from in front of their eye line, rather than beneath them, which could mean the uppercut becomes a key strike for Prochazka.
Force the Wrestling Exchanges
It took just two takedowns and 5:17 control time for Glover Texieria to capture the title in his last bout. He’s always been a solid wrestler who has good BJJ, notching a total of 10 submission victories, of which four have come in his most recent winning run. He lands an average of 2.11 takedowns per 15 minutes, but at an accuracy of just 39%. With that being said, we know that Prochazka has an erratic style. Throwing spinning attacks and extended combinations (7.19 strikes landed per minute), suggests that he leaves himself open to being countered. The longer the combination, the more likely Texieria is going to be able to slip underneath a shot and snatch a takedown.
The trip takedown is something that Teixeira is good at, however, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to get into a position to land this type of takedown. It requires him to utilise the cage in order to force a clinch and offset his opponent’s weight in order to get them to the floor. Prochazka is unlikely to take a step backwards in this fight. He’ll wade forwards, look to meet the champion in the middle and will be unlikely to take a step backwards throughout. Although Dominick Reyes was able to land a trip takedown on Prochazka in the middle of the octagon in their fight (countering off a looping right hand), it’s far safer for the champion to look to land alternative takedowns.
Attempting a double-leg takedown is something that will likely be beneficial for Teixeira. Against Thiago Santos in the second round of their bout, Teixeira was able to loop forwards with an overhand right before rushing the double leg. Although the takedown wasn’t originally successful, he was able to rush Santos back to the fence and then land the takedown. This will likely work against Prochazka as his style is to slip punches, rather than block punches. Although his head movement is good, it exposes his hips to his opponents, leading to potential takedowns against him.
The takedown could be difficult for Teixeira, however. The challenger’s natural stance is to lean forwards, as we saw against Volkan Oezdemir especially. He appears to hide his hips from his opponent, whilst putting all his weight over his lead leg. So although the hips aren’t ‘on offer’ for the champion, if he can snatch the leg, the weight is on the lead leg, making it more difficult for the challenger to shift his weight backwards.
Try to Extend the Fight late
There’s no denying that Glover Texeira has much more high-level experience. Although his opponent has had just eight fewer fights, Texeira has been competing at the highest level for a number of years. With eight UFC main events dating back to 2013, with a title shot in 2014 and plenty of high-level competition, Texeira has to try and extend Prochazka into the later rounds.
Prochazka has 32 professional fights, however, only has two UFC bouts under his belt. Yes, he’s competed in RIZIN, but the competition that he’s faced isn’t as strong as Texeira’s. The important factor is that the challenger is yet to enter the championship rounds and has only entered a third-round twice. When he went the distance with Mikhali Mokhnatkin in 2014, he was visibly fatigued, his shots had far less power on them, however, his takedown defence did hold up, defending a number of relentless takedowns from his opponent.
We don’t know what Prochazka will look like in the later rounds, there’s a chance with his erratic style that he becomes fatigued, leading to the champion being able to use his experience, work his ground game and take over the fight.
Whatever happens, we can guarantee a competitive fight and every Jiri Prochazka fight is entertaining so this is certainly not one to be missed. Keep it locked to MMASucka where we will have all your results, staff picks and much more! You can check out our full preview of the fight on the latest MMASucka Podcast: