Light Heavyweight Bout: Anthony Smith (33-14) vs. Glover Teixeira (30-7)
Luke Irwin: Glover is 40 and is more than a bit away from contendership. He hasn’t even fought a contender since Alex Gustafsson turned off his lights almost three years ago to the date. Smith rebounded after what appeared to be a Benadryl-infused performance against Jon Jones, choking and subsequently retiring Alexander Gustafsson in his home country, so I think he can use his gas tank and get a late finish. Smith via R4 TKO.
Heavyweight Bout: Ben Rothwell (37-12) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (24-13)
Luke: OSP moves up to heavyweight and he has quite the challenge in front of him. His bread-and-butter, the Von Flue choke, isn’t going to work. Not on Rothwell. Saint Preux will clearly be at a size disadvantage against Rothwell, almost literally a grizzly, with a solid ground/submission game and more power than OSP. I really don’t see a route to victory for Ovince, here. Rothwell via R3 Submission.
Lightweight Bout: Alexander Hernandez (11-2) vs. Drew Dober (22-9)
Luke: Hernandez bursted onto the scene in 2018 and very, very quickly. Maybe too quickly, as his third UFC fight was about Donald Cerrone…where he was sent back a few places in line. He rebounded with a decision win over Francisco Trinaldo, and now faces the heavy-handed Dober. Dober’s last three losses were by submission, and all different subs, at that. He’s definitely liable to fall into one, but I think Dober catches him before he gets into trouble. Dober via R1 KO.
Bantamweight Bout: Ray Borg (13-4) vs. Ricky Simon (15-3)
Luke: The only thing I can promise is that we’re probably going to the cards on this one. It’s hard to get a read on Simon, he started out as a hell of a hotshot prospect, winning three in a row and getting lots of hype before Urijah Faber shut him down quickly, then battled, but lost to Rob Font. Borg is a step below those two, so Simon has a chance to rebound, here. Will he get back on track? Borg is what he is at this point, he’s limited, and is a steady gatekeeper. I’ll bet on Simon getting his groove back. Simon via R2 KO.
187.5lb Catchweight Bout: Karl Roberson (9-2) vs. Marvin Vettori (14-4-1)
Luke: More solid work, this time by Roberson, missing weight because apparently this card sprung up a few days ago. At any rate, Vettori gave Israel Adesanya the closest fight of his UFC career. His style isn’t pretty in the least, but you can’t argue with its effectiveness. Vettori via UD.