The Fight Horizon – Ryan Bader vs. Glover Teixeira

The Fight Horizon – Ryan Bader vs. Glover Teixeira

In a previously canceled and now rescheduled matchup, two top ten LHW guys are mixing it up for the third scheduled UFC event on FS1. Ryan Bader, fresh off of a submission victory over Vladimir Matyushenko, meets Glover Teixeira, who is currently undefeated in the UFC with a 4-0 record in the Octagon. Coincidentally, both guys finished their last fights with guillotine chokes in the first round, Teixeira earning his against James Te Huna.

The Matchup:

Ryan Bader (15-3 overall, 8-3 in the UFC)

Strengths: well-rounded, wrestling

Weaknesses: submission defense, speed

Glover Teixeira (21-2 overall, 4-0 in the UFC)

Strengths: Striking, wicked punching power, fearless fighting style

Weaknesses: a little reckless at times

The Date:  September 4, 2013 at UFC on FS1 3

Weight Class:  LHW

What led to it: These two were originally supposed to meet last year. An injury suffered by Bader led to the cancellation of that fight. Bader bounced back from his knockout loss to Lyoto Machida with a submission win over Vladimir Matyushenko. Now he’s cashing in on a raincheck with Teixeira, who is absolutely on fire right now.

Why it matters:  This is really a setup fight for Teixeira to establish himself as the next contender for the LHW championship. Ryan Bader is a very good fighter, and while he won his last fight in impressive fashion, he lost badly in the fight previous to Lyoto Machida, who himself had semi-earned a rematch with Jon Jones.

Much like Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida (and many other fights), the outcome for both guys if they win this fight is very different. A win for Teixeira and he’d be the favorite to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson. Assuming Jones gets through Gustafsson, the champ would have already beaten everyone else in contention. Either that or the other guys simply aren’t ready to face Jones. Dan Henderson, the other potential title hopeful, just can’t seem to get back into the win column and has back to back losses now. Teixeira would all but lock a shot at the title with a win here and a devastating win would pretty much guarantee it.

For Bader, he needs to show he can beat the elite. His three losses have come to Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida. The Jones loss is understandable, as well as the Machida fight, but Ortiz was on the tail end of his career and Bader got caught slipping. Bader is a perpetual top ten guy, but until he shows he can beat one of the top ranked guys, he’s not going to move any higher up the ladder. He’s going to be the underdog against Glover, but this is very much a winnable fight for him. An upset win here and suddenly we might be focusing more on his wins more than his losses. He’s beaten Rampage Jackson, Little Nog, and Matyushenko, all recognizable fighters. Add Teixeira to that list and he’d get another crack at someone in the upper echelon.

If at some point Dana White slaps the “title eliminator” tag on this fight, don’t believe it. Or at least, believe it to be true for Glover Teixeira if he wins. If Bader pulls off the upset, he’ll join Lyoto Machida as another light-heavyweight conquered by Jon Jones who just won a faux-title eliminator.

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