The co-main event of UFC 179 is a three-round light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Phil Davis. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Teixeira is a -335 favorite (bet $335 to win $100) while Davis is a +275 underdog (bet $100 to win $275). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened up Teixeira at -285 and Davis at +205, and so far the bettors have been all over Teixeira. I agree Teixeira is a very likely winner here and believe the action in his direction is correct. Here’s why. Teixeira (22-3) is one of the top light heavyweight fighters in the world. The 34-year-old Brazilian is 5-1 overall in the UFC with wins over Rampage Jackson, Fabio Maldonado, James Te Huna, Kyle Kingsbury and Ryan Bader with his lone loss coming to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Teixeira is an extremely well-rounded fighter with great wrestling, powerful boxing, and a wicked ground game. He has exceptional submission ability for a 205lber and he has nasty ground and pound. In sum, he is one of the elite fighters in the division. Of his 22 career wins, 13 have come via knockout and seven have come via submission. He made it all the way to the title but couldn’t get past Jones, although I would argue he gave the champ a harder fighter than most other had. I believe Teixeira has proven himself to be one of the very best in the world and although Davis, his opponent, is a very solid fighter, based on what we have seen Teixeira is deserving of being a strong favorite heading into this contest. Davis (12-2, 1 NC) is also one of the top-ranked 205lbers in the UFC. The 30-year-old American is 8-2, 1 NC in the UFC with wins over Alexander Gustafsson, Lyoto Machida, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Wagner Prado, Brian Stann, Vinny Magalhaes, Tim Boetsch and Rodney Wallace, with his losses coming to Anthony Johnson and Rashad Evans. Davis is an exceptionally-strong offensive wrestler with a very dynamic ground game. Basically, once he get his opponents to the mat he has a huge advantage there, as we saw in his win over top contender Gustafsson a few years back. However, while Davis is a strong offensive wrestler, he himself has been taken down before, notably by Evans in their bout. On the feet, though, is where Davis really lacks. He has some decent kicks, but he has no power behind his strikes and his combinations are very rudimentary. He does have a nice reach and can keep up a decent volume, but without the threat of power no one is afraid to stand with him. And defensively, Davis needs work too as he seems to not like getting hit (he’s similar to Brock Lesnar, another former wrestler, in this regard). Davis is a smart fighter and his timely takedowns have helped him steal wins in the past, but overall he is not a complete mixed martial artist and since Teixeira is, it makes sense he is the underdog heading into this fight. I think Teixeira is a nightmare matchup for Davis and I believe he will win this fight. I think Teixeira can stop Davis’ takedown attempts, and I actually even think Teixeira can land takedowns himself. But I think this fight mostly takes place on the feet where Teixeira’s aggression and power will be too much for Davis to overcome. I think Teixeira will walk forward throwing heat and although Davis may be able to survive the full 15 minutes, I think he’ll be on his bike the entire time moving away from Teixeira’s massive bombs and that won’t look good to the judges. I believe Teixeira can win this fight by stoppage or decision, but regardless of the method I see the Brazilian getting his hand raised and even at -335 I think he should be someone to consider as the first leg of a two-team parlay at UFC 179.
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