MMA Fighters of the Week: Glover Teixeira & Dan Ige
By Dan McConnell
This past week the UFC’s show rolled back into the usually fun-filled city of Florida for two events. With the Coronavirus pandemic still sweeping the nation, the UFC is currently the only show in town.
On Wednesday night we saw a main event light-heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Anthony Smith. While this past Saturday night, the promotions second stint of the week was headlined by another pair of heavy-hitters, featuring a heavyweight clash between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.
This would take the promotions tally to three shows inside the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in just under two weeks.
At UFC Florida this past Wednesday niht, notable mentions go to Drew Dober who stunned the once highly touted Alexander Hernandez with a second round TKO victory.
Also to Ricky Simon who stopped a two-fight skid, by beating highly favourited former bantamweight title challenge Ray Borg. After a 14-1 career, Simon fell at the hands of MMA Hall of Famer Urijah Faber and also to Rob Font but got back on track this week.
While on the second card of the week on Saturday night, potential award winners could have been Alistair Overeem, who on his 40th birthday destroyed Walt Harris in the second round. This now take his overall total fights to 64 in a 21-year career.
Other nominees include a savage war Darren ‘The Damage’ Elkins had with Nate Landwehr on the prelims. And Kevin Holland smashing Anthony Hernandez in the very first round!
Wednesday’s Award Winner-Glover Teixeira
For the UFC Florida card on Wednesday, I have decided to award Glover Teixeira the honours for his incredible performance over a tough Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith.
Glover went in as the underdog in this contest, despite being on a 3-fight win streak at the age of 40.
The Brazilian has done it all in his last four victories. From an arm-triangle choke, rear naked choke, split-decision win and most recently a TKO victory over Smith.
The 205-pounder isn’t someone who has really got his credit due in the sport, with losses only coming to those at the top of the tree to champion Jon Jones, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Corey Anderson and Alexander Gustafsson.
The Brazilian used his 18-year experience to perfection, letting Smith tire himself out in the first two rounds and then pouncing to dominate the final three.
A fight that gave him the performance of the night, fourth victory in a row and the much deserved respect from the MMA community over a top contender. A title shot could be next.
Saturday’s Award Winner-Dan Ige
The next award winner I have selected for the UFC’s Florida card on Saturday, goes to unbeaten Hawaiian Dan Ige.
The former Dana White Contender Series winner has fought for Pancrase, Legacy FC and Titan FC before making his UFC debut in January of 2018.
A steady rise to the top has seen Ige loose his first UFC bout to the experienced Julio Arce, but now is currently riding a 6-fight win streak.
Ige welcomed and defeating decorated striker Edson Barbosa into the 145-pound division. Barbosa is a man who possesses arguably the best legs kicks in the promotion and has decided to drop down in weight to compete at featherweight.
Going into this fight Ige was up against all odds, but showed why he is one of the rising stars in the division with a split decision victory over his Brazilian counterpart.
Hawaiian MMA greats like BJ Penn and Max Holloway have paved the way for their nations success in the past. And I fully believe with Ige’s impressive performance over a seasoned veteran in Barbosa, the 28-year old is destined for great things!
Congratulations to Glover Teixeira and Dan Ige who both get to lift this weeks most decorated MMA Fighter of the Week award!