Predicting the Winner of All Fights at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira
What a treat us fight fans are in for with UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira.
Also known as UFC on ESPN 9, the second of three events get underway at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 13. The fights will be behind closed doors, but you can watch the action live from the comfort of your home.
More than this, you can take advantage of the latest Smith vs. Teixeira odds and bets if the headline bout catches your attention. Our top-rated UFC betting sites are a good place to start if you’re looking for odds.
Naturally, there is more than one fight on the card set for Wednesday night. I’ve put together this post with my UFC Fight Night predictions for Smith vs. Teixeira and every fight. Be sure to check my picks out before you get your bets down!
Smith to Beat Teixeira by KO/TKO
Anthony Smith could move one step closer to a second shot at the UFC light heavyweight title with a win on Wednesday night.
But standing in his way is Glover Teixeira, the tough and wily old veteran who could surprisingly find himself in title contention if he can pull something special out of the bag.
The Brazilian is riding a three-fight winning streak into the contest, with wins over Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba, and Nikita Krylov, and will be looking to add Smith’s name to his list of victims.
Teixeira will be taking a step up in levels against Smith in Jacksonville. He will be taking on one of the very best light heavyweights on the planet — a guy that is nine years younger and still arguably yet to hit the peak of his powers at light heavyweight.
Smith has edges in speed, skill, and power. He is also a smart fighter. One who, despite being always prepared to go for the kill, has the nous to drag the older man past the midway point before taking him out at some point in the third fight.
A fully focused Smith will win this fight inside the distance. I predict a third-round knockout.
Rothwell to Beat Saint Preux by KO/TKO
The first word to come out of my mouth when Ben Rothwell vs. Ovince Saint Preux was confirmed was… why?
This is not a weird one just to me, as I learned recently. Fans have taken to the usual spots to give their two cents on the fight announcements, and this is one that seems to have received a lot of air time.
Saint Preux has never competed at heavyweight. Somehow, he has found himself pitted against one of the biggest guys in the division in Rothwell. All 6’4″ and 265 pounds of him. A guy that has to cut weight to meet the heavyweight threshold.
Nevertheless, OSP will walk into the Octagon at just half an inch shorter than Rothwell and with a two-inch reach advantage at 80″. But will this be enough to convince him that he can avoid the punching power of a guy that has 28 KOs from 37 victories?
OSP has been knocked out just twice in eleven years, with Jimi Manuwa the only guy to spark him in the UFC. He will certainly have an advantage in speed over Rothwell, which he will be hoping to use to its utmost capacity.
Saint Preux doesn’t have the power to keep Rothwell from plodding forward. Nor will he have the strength to keep such a monstrous heavyweight down long enough to land a submission. The equalizer in this fight is power, and I can see Rothwell connecting with a big shot at some point that will end the fight inside the distance.
Hernandez to Beat Dober by Submission
This is definitely a fun fight. It will be very enjoyable to watch, as long as it lasts.
These guys are two solid lightweights that match up well. Hernandez is a swift and savvy operator who has wins over Beneil Dariush, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and Francisco Trinaldo on his record since hooking up with the UFC in 2018.
Sure, the last win raised a few eyebrows among fans, but it got him back in the winning column following a TKO loss to Donald Cerrone in January.
That loss will be in the back of his mind when he faces Dober, who comes into this fight off the back of stoppage wins over Marco Polo Reyes and Nasrat Haqparast. There have been obvious improvements in Dober’s striking game, and he will be looking to show this off on the night.
Although Dober is a well-rounded competitor, I’m backing Hernandez in this fight. He is better in the striking and wrestling departments and nimbler on the feet. Providing he mixes up his striking game with a couple of takedowns — in other words, keeps Dober moving and guessing — he will eventually break him down.
I’m predicting a submission win for Hernandez. Dober has lost his last three fights in this manner, two to Beneil Dariush and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who Hernandez has beaten.
Simon to Beat Borg by Decision
Ray Borg vs. Ricky Simon could be another fight that comes down to size, even if it might be a little disservice to both men to make it as simple as that.
Borg enters as the underdog in this contest, which will be his first bout of 2020. In 2019, he earned wins over Gabriel Silva and Rogerio Bontorin. These ended a two-fight skid with losses to Casey Kenney (also in 2019) and Demetrious Johnson in 2017.
In my opinion, Borg, a former flyweight title contender, has a better resume than Simon. But he is challenging Simon at his native bantamweight, and despite being 1-1 at this weight, I don’t think he is strong enough for this weight class.
Simon is on a two-fight skid of his own, having been knocked out by Urijah Faber — in the veteran’s first bout in two and a half years — and dropping a decision loss to Rob Font. He is the bigger guy, for sure, and this will suit him down to the ground.
Borg is an excellent wrestler and will be looking to make this count on the night. Simon will also be aware of the grappling nous of the Tazmexican Devil and will more than certainly be preparing to use a six-inch reach advantage in order to prevent Borg from taking him down. But size will rule here.
My prediction is that Simon pieces up Borg from the outside and does enough to get the nod from all three judges.
Vettori to Beat Roberson by Decision
This middleweight clash has all the hallmarks of a traditional clash of styles.
Karl Roberson, the striker, versus Vettori, the wrestler. But given that both guys can do it on the feet as well as on the floor, I’d say there is more to this fight than meets the eye. Roberson has shown his submission game is far from green in the UFC, while Vettori has markedly improved in the striking department.
Vettori, in particular, has come on in leaps and bounds since hooking up with the promotion in 2016. He has four wins, one draw, and two losses in the UFC. Those defeats came to Antonio Carlos Junior via unanimous decision and to incumbent middleweight king Israel Adesanya by way of split decision.
Roberson will have to be sharp on the night to stand any chance of beating Vettori. I’m not sure his decision-making under pressure is where it should be, with particular reference to his January 2019 defeat against Glover Teixeira. He really should have won that fight.
Given Vettori’s grappling strength, I think he will want to keep the fight on the ground. That said, he also has enough about his striking game to hang with Roberson on the feet.
I’m backing Vettori here to win this on the scorecards.
Arlovski to Beat Lins by Decision
Wins are few and far between for Andrei Arlovski these days.
The former UFC champion has just three victories from his last ten fights. He is coming off a 29-second KO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in November, which once again raised concerns about his place in the promotion.
Arlovski will take on 2018 PFL Heavyweight Tournament winner Philipe Lins, looking for his second victory in three fights. A win that would silence critics for the time being.
After winning that tournament back in December 2018, Lins has been inactive. This will be his first appearance inside the cage in 15 months, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.
If anything, Arlovski should have enough for Lins. Yes, he won a heavyweight competition, but the caliber of his opponents throughout the tournament was not exactly what I would refer to as high-level fighters.
Arlovski takes this one the distance and wins the judges’ scorecards.
Johnson to Beat Moises by KO/TKO
Michael Johnson’s record of 3-7 in his last ten is not what anyone wants to see from such a fan favorite.
Sure, three of those seven losses have come against Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz, and Justin Gaethje, but there are other fights that he probably should have won. Most notably, the fight he lost to Beneil Dariush. What were the judges thinking?
On May 13, Johnson will be in there with Thiago Moises, a solid BJJ guy. I wouldn’t be alone in thinking that Moises is probably not the most well-rounded fighter on the roster, but then again, neither is Johnson.
But these two will be up for this one. Moises is coming off a loss to Damir Ismagulov in August, while Stevie Ray beat Johnson in his last outing back in October.
This should be another fun fight, but one in which Johnson does just about enough to scrape past his opponent on the judges’ scorecards.
Eubanks to Beat Moras by Decision
Sijara Eubanks enters this contest as a sizeable favorite over Sarah Moras.
I have to agree with the oddsmakers in this one, who clearly see Eubanks as the better competitor of the two ladies, who both take records of 2-3 into the cage on Wednesday night in Florida.
Eubanks lost in her last outing against Bethe Correira, while Moras beat Liana Jojua, but I see the former getting herself back to winning ways on the night. She is a better grappler and should be tough enough to withstand what Moras throws her way.
I’ll take Eubanks by decision.
Kelleher to Beat Azure by Submission
Hunter Azure made it a UFC debut to remember with a solid win over Brad Katona.
Azure’s next task will be to dispatch of the heavy-fisted Brian Kelleher in Jacksonville in a bantamweight scrap that should set the tone for a fine evening of fights.
Kelleher has big wins at 135 pounds over former champ Renan Barao and tough veteran Iuri Alcantara. He has losses to Marlon Vera, John Lineker, and Montel Jackson in the promotion but is coming off a solid victory over Ode Osbourne in January.
I’m going with Kelleher. He has more pop than Azure and also has a dangerous submission game that I think will show itself once more.
It’s a Wrap
And like that, my predictions for UFC on ESPN 9 are in the books. I’m looking forward to seeing how many I got right on what should be an awesome evening of fights.
I’ll leave you to digest my predictions and compare them to your own. But when you are done, check out the MMA section of our blog for more UFC predictions, odds, bets, and previews. We have some big events fights to look forward to, so you don’t want to sleep on any of them!