UFC 153: October 13, 2012 HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Glover Teixeira (-325) Profile: When people talk about the next big thing at light heavyweight in the UFC, the names Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira (18-2) come up every time. The 32 year-old monster trains out of the famed Pit, where such notable fighters as Tim Kennedy, Bobby Southworth, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell have learned their craft over the years. With a black belt in BJJ and fists that have delivered him 11 knockouts in his 18 wins, Teixeira is the real deal and can bring the fight anywhere. He is currently on a 16-fight winning streak and garnering increased attention as a true contender in the suddenly-murky UFC light heavyweight division following a dominant win over Kyle Kingsbury in his UFC debut. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Fabio Maldonado (+245) Profile: Fabio Maldonado (18-5) is part of Team Nogueira and not afraid of a fight. In fact, getting into a gritty brawl is what the 32-year-old Brazilian seems to always want the fight to turn into. Of his 18 wins over 12-year career, he has 12 knockouts and three submissions with only three decisions. And as Maldonado has shown in his brief and tumultuous UFC career thus far, the guy is willing to put on a show. He had an impressive TKO victory over James McSweeney at UFC 120 in his debut, displaying his heavy hands. Then in his following loss, Maldonado was awarded Fight of the Night honors for his performance in the cage with Kyle Kingsbury at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale. He suffered his second straight loss with another fun fight, but the judges awarded the battle to Igor Pokrajac at UFC on FUEL TV 3. His upcoming fight with Glover Teixeira that he took on short notice replacing Rampage Jackson will be a violent one. Opening UFC 153 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Teixeira a large -325 favorite (bet $325 to win $100) against Maldonado, who opened as a +245 underdog (bet $100 to win $245) according to the MMA odds. Teixeira might be the light heavyweight nobody wants to face right now, just ask Rampage Jackson. MMA fans could be seeing an intriguing matchup between Teixeira and Alexander Gustafsson in a light heavyweight title eliminator bout eventually if both win their next fights after the winner between Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson gets a shot at the belt, but Maldonado will do everything he can to prevent that from happening. Maldonado may not be in that same elite class, but he is at a bit of a crossroads in his career and needs to prove he belongs in the UFC after dropping two in a row. Just two years ago, it was Maldonado who had won 11 in a row before losing a pair of fights that went the distance and resulted in unanimous decisions. Teixeira can’t afford to overlook Maldonado and will not have the same home country edge he would have enjoyed against Jackson since he will be fighting a fellow Brazilian here. Maldonado has never been knocked out and could test the favorite in this spot.
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