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UFC Vegas 13: Santos vs Teixeira - Main Fight Preview

In the main fight of UFC on Vegas 13, Thiago “Marreta” Santos faces the Brazilian Glover Teixeira , in a fight that will probably give the winner an opportunity to dispute the light heavyweight belt.

It is surprising that that limited prospectus that appeared at TUF Brasil 2 today would be one of the main names in the light heavyweight division, but Thiago Marreta (21-7 in MMA, 13-6 in UFC) certainly proved his worth after a bad start. Marreta started his career in the UFC being submitted by Cézar Mutante and lost an easy decision to Uriah Hall. However, the Brazilian really underwent a drastic evolution, using power in his hands and kicks to destroy his opponents. “Mallet” is the record holder for middleweight knockouts and the second with the most knockouts in UFC history, behind only Vitor Belfort.

In 2018, Marreta had the opportunity to step up to the light heavyweights to face Eryk Anders at the last minute. Since then, the Brazilian has found his new home. The change made sense: the middleweight division had a lot of technical wrestlers and boxers and by then he had already reached his ceiling. After destroying Jimi Manuwa and Blachowicz with right-wing crusaders, Thiago managed to fight for the belt of former category owner Jon Jones and had an extremely competitive fight, despite suffering several serious knee injuries in the first round.. Even injured, the former challenger was the only fighter in history to lead Jones to a split decision. The injuries suffered against Jones removed the carioca 16 months from the octagons, but now he will have another chance to apply for a title shot .

Speaking of surprises, who would say that miner Glover Teixeira (31-7 in MMA, 14-5 in UFC) at 41 would have a fight that can give him the title shot ? Glover's winning streak has certainly been a roller coaster ride, as the Brazilian has always suffered a bit in his victories, but he found ways to overcome adversity and make adjustments in the middle of the fight. The miner comes after 4 wins against Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba, Nikita Krylov and Anthony Smith. The performances may not be encouraging, but given the light heavyweight division scenario Glover remains a relevant fighter.

The veteran's game is straightforward: very heavy right hand that he uses behind his good jabs and good counters with crosses and uppercuts also from the right. In addition to his striking, Glover has good wrestling and elite jiu-jitsu (black belt grade 2 under Luigi Mondelli). If things get complicated while standing, Teixeira doesn't hesitate to dive for double legs , followed by a brutal ground and pound and good submissions. Your wrestling doesn't work against wrestlerselite, and he was easily controlled by Phil Davis, Corey Anderson and a certain Jon Jones, but against opponents with a low percentage of fall defense, the miner has done well. Against great strikers , he has always had difficulty mainly due to his slow beginnings: Rumble Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson had no difficulty in exploring defensive flaws while standing, in addition to the hardships he went through with Ryan Bader, Karl Roberson and Anthony Smith.

I believe the fight will be defined by the answer to the following question: Will mallet take advantage of Glover's slow start? The miner can easily be knocked out by one of the sledgehammer bombs right at the start of the fight. The other plausible scenario is the fight extending and Glover taking Thiago to the ground, where he has a lot of advantage. Marreta certainly evolved his wrestling after going to the American Top Team, but it is difficult to say to what extent, as his takedown defense has been little tested. It is a difficult fight to bet, but for me the most plausible scenario is that of Glover Teixeira getting a takedown and submitting Thiago Marreta.