UFC Fight Night 69: Gustafsson vs. Teixeira Date: June 20, 2015 Location: Berlin, Germany Venue: O2 World Broadcast: Fight Pass UFC Light Heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson Alexander Gustafsson (16-3) has made his mark on the UFC light heavyweight division in the last few years. The 28-year-old Swede’s first loss up until 2013 came to Phil Davis — otherwise, he started his career perfect. Since then, Gustafsson has improved immensely as he has used his size and extraordinary MMA boxing to climb to the top of the light heavyweight division. After amassing a long winning streak, Gustafsson was then given the light heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 165 as the rest of the 205lb division was trying to sort itself out. Jones and Gustafsson would then meet at Air Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada, and what would transpire there was simply incredible. No one had ever been so competitive against Jones, the greatest fighter in light heavyweight history, and Gustafsson opened up a lot of eyes with his performance. The challenger Gustafsson was able to take the champion Jones to decision, and though he ultimately lost the nod on the judges’ cards, many fans were calling for a rematch. The UFC decided to pair Gustafsson up with Jimi Manuwa instead, and Gustafsson knocked him out in brutal fashion to earn another title shot against Jones. However, the Swede got injured and had to pull out. With Jones getting matched up with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, Gustafsson instead fought Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 14, and was shockingly knocked out in the first round. But after taking some time off to think about his career, Gustafsson is ready to return and the comeback starts against Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 69. UFC Light Heavyweight Glover Teixeira When people talk about the next big thing at light heavyweight in the UFC, the name Glover Teixeira (22-4) comes up every time. With a black belt in BJJ and fists that have helped him deliver 13 knockouts in his 22 wins, Teixeira is the real deal and can win a fight anywhere it goes. He was on a 20-fight winning streak and garnering increased attention as a true contender in the UFC light heavyweight division following dominant wins over Kyle Kingsbury (submission) Fabio Maldonado (TKO), Quinton Jackson (unanimous decision) and Ryan Bader (KO), but faltered when he fought Jon Jones for the title at UFC 172, losing a unanimous decision. He then fought Phil Davis at UFC 179 and despite being a big favorite heading into that bout he lost another decision, giving him two losses in a row. However, he is still an incredibly-dangerous fighter, and at 35 years of age his time as one of the division’s best is not over. He is being given a difficult stylistic fight against the younger, rangier Alexander Gustafsson in his next bout at UFC Fight Night 69, but if he fights to his potential he has the tools to pull off the upset. Opening Fight Night 69 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Gustafsson a -280 favorite (bet $280 to win $100) while Teixeira opened as a +200 underdog (bet $100 to win $200) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. This is a tremendous fight between two former title contenders and both fighters definitely need a win her to stay relevant in the division. Gustafsson is coming off of a loss to Johnson where he was shockingly knocked out, while Teixeira is coming off of two-straight losses to Jones and Davis and didn’t look good in either fight. Both guys are much better than what they both showed in their last outings and I’m expecting them both to leave everything in the cage this June. Both fighters are super talented and this fight could go either way, but ultimately Gustafsson deserves to be favored due to his reach and youth advantages, and that’s why you see him open as the betting favorite in this spot.
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