UFC on FOX 26 video highlights: Glover Teixeira too much for Misha Cirkunov

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

In a battle of light-heavyweight title hopefuls Glover Teixeira proved superior against Misha Cirkunov.

While Cirkunov (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) started to gain some momentum on the feet, Teixeira (27-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) wisely took the fight to the floor, where he threatened with a choke but ultimately ended the contest with some old-fashioned ground-and-pound blows.

The light heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the finish in the highlights clip above.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26 results: Glover Teixeira pounds out Misha Cirkunov in first

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In a key 205-pound contest, Glover Teixeira (27-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) kept his name in the title mix with a first-round stoppage of Misha Cirkunov (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

The light heavyweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Both men were patient to start, respectful of each other’s power. Cirkunov found some early success with kicks to the body, but Teixeira seemed content to stay on the outside and look for his opportunity to counter. As Cirkunov turned up the pressure on the feet, Teixeira countered with a takedown, and it paid immediate dividends.

Teixeira initially looked for a rear-naked choke, but Cirkunov was able to defend well on the first effort. Teixeira decided not to waste effort burning out his arms and alertly slipped over to mount. Cirkunov turned again, exposing his back, but Teixeira simply flattened him out and punched away until referee Dan Miragliotta had seen enough at the 2:45 mark of the opening round.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26 breakdown: Betting advice, possible prop bets and fantasy studs

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at betting and fantasy advice for the card.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Saturday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Canada, and it airs on FOX following early prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Disclaimer: The following section is designed for entertainment purposes only. The unit sizes serve as a rough representation of the percentage of bankroll risked, as well as my confidence in said plays. If you intend on gambling, I suggest that you do so responsibly and legally, as it is at your own risk. All lines are drawn from 5Dimes.eu on the day this article was published (Dec. 15, 2017).

Dan’s plays

Straight plays:

  • Glover Teixeira +135 (0.5 unit)
  • Danny Roberts +105 (0.5 unit)

Summary: For straight plays, I typically look for fighters who I not only feel confident about (whether it be by their sample size or the matchup at hand), but also have a low (or tempting) asking price.

Glover Teixeira

For my first of two plays, I ended up putting my money where my mouth is and played Glover Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC), who faces Misha Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC).

Although I can understand why the oddsmakers and public are on the younger fighter in Cirkunov, I do not feel the Brazilian veteran is a fighter you can put your fork into here. Furthermore, for the reasons outlined in my main-card breakdown, this may very well be a bad matchup stylistically for Cirkunov, both standing and in wrestling exchanges.

Lastly, I also decided to stand firmly by my pick of Danny Roberts (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who faces Nordine Taleb (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

Taleb is an underrated talent who has excellent muay Thai and a more than serviceable grappling game. However, akin to my other straight play, I feel that this too is a suspect stylistic matchup for the favorite.

Roberts, the southpaw, will have stance and speed variables that may make it difficult for Taleb to target his traditional areas of attack. In addition, Roberts’ wrestling and ground game have made marked improvements since his time spent training with South Florida (with the likes of Neil Melanson and Kamaru Usman).

Should Roberts find his rhythm, then I could see him stifling the terms that Taleb typically needs to establish a winning temperature. Despite money coming in on Roberts late, I still feel he is worth the sprinkle if you’re in the market for live dogs.

Playable parlay pieces (my most confident favorites):

  • No selections this week, see below.

Summary: My recommended parlay pieces are typically my most confident picks that could serve as potential legs for whatever play you’re trying to put together.

However, as you can see in the section above, there was nothing that I felt confident enough in this week that I could recommend to you with a straight face. I know this article is for entertainment at the end of the day, but I also want to be as honest and accurate as I can given that some of you may use this for reference.

Thanks for respecting my choice for this section and I hope you enjoy the rest of the article.

Props worth looking at:

  • John Makdessi/Abel Trujillo over 1.5: -190 (1 unit)
  • Alessio Di Chirico “inside the distance”: +150 (.25 unit)

John Makdessi

Summary: My first prop is a total (a chalky one, I know), as I elected to go with the over 1.5 in the Makdessi-Trujillo matchup. Both men are proven products in the UFC’s deepest division, who also happen to be at crucial points of their careers where they need a win badly.

For that reason, I feel that each fighter may compete more conservative than they normally do. Makdessi – who has a propensity to go to decision – has a knack for lulling a fight into a particular pace (for better or worse). Whereas Trujillo – who is a do-or-die fighter at heart – has shown to pace himself more methodically in recent years.

Given those intangibles coupled with the current betting line, and I feel this is one of the more playable angles as far as totals go.

My second prop is an “inside the distance” play backing Alessio Di Chirico. Di Chirico is facing Oluwale Bamgbose, who is another fighter who lives and dies by his sword.

As we’ve seen time and time again, Bamgbose comes out on fire only to eventually extinguish should he not find his finish. Di Chirico, who I feel is an underrated and well-rounded talent, also appears to be durable and not easily shaken. Coupled with his 80 percent finishing rate, and I’m willing to take a shot at plus money that he’s the last man standing.

Fights to avoid (live dogs, high intangibles, etc.):

  • Chad Laprise vs. Galore Bofando
  • Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Mike Perry

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26 staff picks: Lawler or 'RDA'? Who gets nod in battle of former champs?

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Lawler
vs.
Dos Anjos
Emmett
vs.
Lamas
Perry
vs.
Ponzinibbio
Cirkunov
vs.
Teixeira
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 122-85
lawler2017
Lawler
(70%)
lamas2017
Lamas
(83%)
perry2017
Perry
(53%)
cirkunov2017
Cirkunov
(51%)
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 131-76
lawler2017
Lawler
lamas2017
Lamas
ponzinibbio2017
Ponzinibbio
cirkunov2017
Cirkunov
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 130-77
lawler2017
Lawler
lamas2017
Lamas
perry2017
Perry
cirkunov2017
Cirkunov
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 128-79
trophy copy 2016 Champion
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
lamas2017
Lamas
perry2017
Perry
cirkunov2017
Cirkunov
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 127-80
trophy copy 2015 Champion
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
lamas2017
Lamas
ponzinibbio2017
Ponzinibbio
cirkunov2017
Cirkunov
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 126-81
lawler2017
Lawler
lamas2017
Lamas
perry2017
Perry
cirkunov2017
Cirkunov
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 123-84
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
lamas2017
Lamas
perry2017
Perry
gteixeira2017
Teixeira
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 121-86
trophy copy 2014 Champion
lawler2017
Lawler
lamas2017
Lamas
ponzinibbio2017
Ponzinibbio
gteixeira2017
Teixeira
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 121-86
lawler2017
Lawler
lamas2017
Lamas
perry2017
Perry
cirkunov2017
Cirkunov
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 119-88
lawler2017
Lawler
lamas2017
Lamas
perry2017
Perry
gteixeira2017
Teixeira
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 119-88
lawler2017
Lawler
lamas2017
Lamas
perry2017
Perry
gteixeira2017
Teixeira

The UFC is back in Canada for its penultimate event of 2017, and a battle between two former champions headlines the card.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Saturday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) takes on former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC), who now is fighting at 170 pounds. The fight virtually is a pick’em with the oddsmakers, but it’s Lawler who is the pick of seven of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-feature, former featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) is the lone unanimous pick on the card. All 10 of our pickers are taking him to top short-notice replacement Josh Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who stepped in after Lamas’ original opponent, former champ Jose Aldo, was tapped to challenge titleholder Max Holloway in the UFC 218 main event.

Also on the main card, Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is the underdog in his welterweight fight against Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC), but he’s got a 7-3 edge in our staff picks. And to open the main card, Misha Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is the 6-4 choice over former light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC).

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Lawler, Lamas, Perry and Cirkunov are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC on FOX 26 with title eliminator between two former champs

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Most fighters headed into a title eliminator are inclined to boast about how they are going to win that fight and move on to dethrone the sitting champion. Most fighters are not Robbie Lawler, who faces Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of Saturday’s UFC on FOX 26 card.

When asked about UFC President Dana White saying the winner of the fight would get a shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Lawler seemed unfazed.

“I haven’t had any communication with (White), but I’m not too worried about that because you’ve got to win anyway,” Lawler told MMAjunkie. “We’ll see what happens after that.”

Lawler, the former welterweight champion lost the title to Woodley in June 2016. He defeated Donald Cerrone in his only fight since that loss. Dos Anjos, the former lightweight champion, is 2-0 since moving to the welterweight division.

In the co-main event, former featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas faces Josh Emmett.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Too close to call

Several welterweights will have their eyes on the headlining bout at UFC on FOX 26. Those fighters will likely include champion Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington, the No. 5 ranked fighter in the most recent USA TODAY Sports MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings.

Covington has been making a lot of noise about getting a shot at Woodley’s title, but with a solid win in Winnipeg, the No 3 ranked Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) or the No. 9 ranked dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) will leapfrog Covington in the hunt for the belt according to UFC President Dana White.

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With the odds being almost event in this battle between two former champs it’s hard to tell who has the advantage in this fight. Will it be Lawler with his powerful striking? Or will it be the ground game of dos Anjos that puts him in the running for a shot at becoming a two-division champion?

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2. Make the most of a bad situation

Lamas has three losses in his UFC career. He was close to getting a second shot at one of the men who defeated him, former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, at UFC on FOX 26. But when an injury knocked Frankie Edgar out of his scheduled fight against champion Max Holloway, the UFC inserted Aldo into that open spot. Now, Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who is the No. 5 ranked 145-pounder faces the unranked Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC).

That’s a raw deal for Lamas, but it’s not something he’s dwelling on.

“It’s a part of this game,” Lamas told MMAjunkie Radio. “The fight game is very unpredictable, so you’ve got to roll with the punches. You have no other choice. I can’t just sit here and throw a tantrum like a little kid. I’ve just got to suck it up and keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is finishing fights.”

Lamas has finished his past two fights, a third straight stoppage will keep him in the mix of the featherweight division, but it will also keep him behind Edgar and Brian Ortega as a title challenger.

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This is a huge opportunity for Emmett, who has just one featherweight fight in the UFC, an October unanimous decision win.

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3. Outside looking in

A deep pool of future contenders continues to develop in the welterweight division. There’s Covington, No. 8 ranked Kamaru Usman and No. 10 ranked Darren Till. Outside the rankings sit Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

A throwback in many ways, Perry has become an unlikely fan favorite over the past two years. Perry has one goal when he steps into the octagon – get a knockout. He’s done that 11 times in his MMA career. His sole loss came in the only fight where he went the distance.

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Perry is a slugger, plain and simple. His lack of a full MMA game will limit him in the long run, but in the short-term, he’s entertaining as all get out in the cage.

Ponzinibbio holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but he too prefers to throw hands as his 14 career knockout wins indicate. Ponzinibbio enters this bout on a five-fight winning streak with three of those wins coming via first-round TKO.

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4. Erase the memory

Misha Cirkunov was on the rise heading into his May bout against Volkan Oezdemir. He had won eight straight fights by stoppage including four in the UFC. Oezdemir halted that climb with a 28-second knockout. The No. 9 ranked Cirkunov looks to get back in the win column against Glover Teixeira, who is ranked No. 6 in the division.

Cirkunov has a great ground game and phenomenal strength, which was on display when he broke Alex Nicholson’s jaw with a neck crank at UFC Fight Night 82.

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Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is by far the most accomplished and well-rounded fighter Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has faced. If he can get past the former light heavyweight title challenger, it will help people forget his knockout loss to Oezdemir and put him back in the mix.

Teixeira is coming off a fifth-round knockout loss to Alexander Gustafsson in May. His return to the octagon was delayed when he underwent hand surgery in June.

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5. More than a striker?

Jared Cannonier got serious about his MMA career in 2017. He shed his full-time job and began to train with the MMA Lab. UFC on FOX 26 marks the first full camp the 33-year-old will spend with the Arizona-based team. It will be interesting to see how successful the MMA Lab has been in adding to Cannonier’s repertoire.

One thing Cannonier’s opponent in this light heavyweight matchup, Jan Blachowicz will want to test is if Cannonier has worked on his takedown defense, something he has struggled with in the past. If Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has not shored up that aspect of his game, he could find himself in trouble against Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

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6. Lesson learned

Darren Stewart learned the hard way that success with smaller promotions doesn’t automatically translate to success inside the octagon. Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) joined the UFC with a perfect 7-0 record. He’s since gone 0-2 (with one no contest.) He’ll look to teach Julian Marquez (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) the same lesson he learned when the two meet in a middleweight bout in Winnipeg.

Marquez has six wins on his record. He ended each of those fights by knockout, including his most recent bout, a win over Phil Hawes on a Dana White’s Contender Series card. He also has a first-round knockout win over former UFC fighter Matt Hamill.

Stewart comes to this fight as a late replacement. His most recent bout was a November 11 submission loss to another DWCS alum, Karl Roberson.

7. Following a slamming debut

Galore Bofando

Galore Bofando made a huge impression in his UFC debut. At UFC Fight Night 113, the Congolese-born fighter scored a rare slam knockout victory over Charlie Ward. Before the fight came to an end, Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) displayed a very unorthodox striking style with a lot of flashy kicks. It’s going to be hard for the 35-year-old to top that performance, but he’ll look to do so against the more experienced Chad Laprise (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in a welterweight matchup.

After a five-fight run at lightweight, Laprise returned to welterweight at UFC 213. The Canadian fighter scored a third-round TKO over Brian Camozzi at that event. The win earned the 31-year-old a “Performance of the Night” bonus. Laprise showed good speed and movement against Camozzi, that will come in handy against an opponent like Bofando.

8. A debut to watch

Expect Pietro Menga to be motivated when he steps into his flyweight bout against Tim Elliott. The unbeaten Englishman was out of action for more than two years due to ACL surgery. When he returned in 2016, he scored a 41-second one-punch knockout of Spencer Hewitt at Bellator 158. He hasn’t fought since that July 2016 victory. Menga steps in on short-notice to replace Justin Scoggins.

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Menga is fast and packs quite a bit of power in his hands. He’s also very confident despite his lack of fights over the past few years. If Menga (13-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) gets past the well-respected and tenacious Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC), he could find himself matched up against a top-15 flyweight in his next bout.

Elliott is 1-2 since he returned to the UFC after winning Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

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9. Slow and steady might not win the race

Abel Trujillo was once a fighter who stomped the gas pedal to the floor early. He’s gotten away from that style recently, but he might want to revisit it against the tough and resilient John Makdessi in this lightweight bout.

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Makdessi is one of the most active strikers in UFC lightweight history and he has the best striking defense in the division. However, Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) does pack more power than Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) in his striking.

What makes this fight most interesting is that both of these veterans are coming off stoppage losses and will be anxious to show they can still compete at the UFC level.

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10. An early high-stakes battle

Jordan Mein and Erick Silva have a few things in common. Both were expected to do big things in the UFC. Both have struggled since joining the promotion. Both might be fighting for their UFC lives on the Fight Pass Prelims of UFC on FOX 26.

Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) enters this welterweight scrap on a three-fight losing skid while Silva (19-8 MMA, 7-7 UFC) is 1-3 in his past four outings.

Both of these fighters have shown flashes of brilliance, but they struggle to put together complete performances. That has hurt them over the course of their careers. Although this fight is early on the card, it is a high stakes contest for these veteran competitors.

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For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26's Glover Teixeira knew he'd fight Misha Cirkunov sooner or later

WINNIPEG – Glover Teixeira’s had a feeling he would eventually cross paths with Misha Cirkunov, even when they were friendly and spending time together when competing on the same fight card earlier this year.

Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) and Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) both fought – and lost – at UFC Fight Night 109 in May. Now they are pitting against each other in a light heavyweight bout on Saturday at UFC on FOX 26. The Brazilian only had positive comments about his upcoming opponent, but Teixeira said that’s not going to stop him from doing his work.

“I look at all the light heavyweights that way, that we’re probably going to end up fighting each other sooner than later” Teixeira told MMAjunkie at today’s UFC on FOX 26 media day. “Especially him, a young guy. I knew he was going to come up in the division. He was already top 10 when I met him. I knew I was going to fight him sooner or later.

“You always look at those guys as a challenge,” he continued. “You always look at his style, you always look at his fight before. I’m excited to fight him. I like the guy. He helped me in Sweden to grab some food over there. I couldn’t find a store, so he explained it to me. But it’s a business.”

UFC on FOX 26 takes place at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Teixeira vs. Cirkunov opens the FOX-televised main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

When fighting in Sweden earlier this year, Teixeira suffered a fifth-round knockout loss to Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) in a competitive fight. Cirkunov, meanwhile, was starched by Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in a mere 28 seconds for his first octagon setback.

Going into the event many believed Cirkunov, and not Oezdemir, was going to be a future title contender. The situation played out the opposite, though, and now Oezdemir is scheduled to challenge Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 220 on Jan. 20.

At the time Oezdemir’s quick knockout of Cirkunov was considered stunning. That has changed now, though, and for that reason Teixeira said he’s not putting much stock into the previous fight.

“Volkan did a very good job, caught him with a good punch and after that he fought (Jimi) Manuwa and did a great job,” Teixeira said. “Let’s see what happens with the belt, title shot. He’s going to fight experienced guys. That fight is hard to say with Volkan. It was one of those fights where he didn’t have time to fight. He got caught with one punch, and what are you going to say about it?”

Teixeira and Cirkunov were originally booked to fight in October, but the matchup was pushed back two months due to Teixeira’s lingering hand injury. He said he’s 100 percent recovered now, though, and hopes to hand Cirkunov his second knockout loss in a row.

“I’m going to come after him and I’m going to go for the knockout,” Teixeira said. “I have to do it. This is my style. I have to push and bring a knockout for my fans.”

Although he’s coming off a loss, Teixeira believes a big win at UFC on FOX 26 puts him right back in contention to fight for the 205-pound belt. Gustafsson seems like the next candidate to challenge for UFC gold after the Cormier vs. Oezdemir fight, but “The Mauler” is also coming off a surgery and his timetable too fight again is not certain. Because of that, Teixeira thinks he could slide in.

“Jon Jones is out right now and Gustafsson is hurt,” Teixeira said. “So, it could be a possibility in fighting the winner (between Cormier and Oezdemir). Who knows?”

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Video: UFC on FOX 26 media day face-offs with Mike Perry doing plenty of jaw-jackin'

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WINNIPEG – The main-card fighters for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 26 card got together to meet the media today. Then they got face to face.

Things were mostly civil. But Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) had a few things to say to his welterweight opponent, Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC). Perry trash-talked the silent-but-smiling Brazilian and gave a big yell and a few throat slashes for good measure.

Check out the highlights from the UFC on FOX 26 face-offs in the video above, which also includes main-event welterweights Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC); co-main event featherweights Josh Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC); and Misha Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Glover Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC), who open the main card in a light heavyweight bout.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Saturday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26 pre-event facts: Winnipeg return loaded with big-time hitters

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The UFC’s final network-televised event of 2017 is set for Saturday. UFC on FOX 26 takes place at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with a main card on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

A welterweight title-eliminator headlines the promotion’s return to Winnipeg after more than four years. Former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) meets former lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) in a crucial matchup for the 170-pound weight class.

Several other key bouts are slated for the UFC’s 25th event in Canada. For more on the numbers behind the fights, check below for 60 pre-event facts about UFC on FOX 26.

* * * *

Main event

Robbie Lawler

Lawler is 9-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2013.

Lawler became the first fighter in UFC history to force a belt to change hands by split decision when he defeated Johny Hendricks at UFC 181 in December 2014.

Lawler is one of two fighters in UFC history to win two title fights by split decision. Benson Henderson has also accomplished the feat.

Lawler’s six knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Matt Brown (nine), Thiago Alves (eight) and Matt Hughes (seven).

Lawler’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Alves (13) and Jake Ellenberger (11).

Robbie Lawler

Lawler has absorbed 781 significant strikes in UFC competition since Jan. 1, 2013, the most of any fighter in the company since that date.

Lawler’s 539 significant strikes absorbed in UFC title fights are the most history.

Lawler’s significant strike disadvantage of -82 against Carlos Condit at UFC 195 marked the largest disparity in UFC history for a fighter who won a decision.

Lawler and Hendricks attempted 728 significant strikes at UFC 171, the second most in a single UFC bout behind Cole Miller and Nam Phan (788 at UFC on FOX 4).

Lawler completes 76.2 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC competition, the highest accuracy rate in company history.

Rafael dos Anjos

Dos Anjos competes in his sixth UFC main event. He’s 3-2 in his previous five headliners.

Dos Anjos is 2-0 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in June.

Dos Anjos is the only Brazilian lightweight champion in UFC history.

Dos Anjos became just the second fighter in history to challenge for a UFC title and win a 50-45 decision on all three judges’ scorecards when he beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 185. Randy Couture also accomplished the feat against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68.

Dos Anjos’ 66-second victory over Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17 marked the fastest stoppage in UFC lightweight title-fight history.

Co-main event

Ricardo Lamas

Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) is 9-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Lamas’ six stoppage victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (nine).

Lamas’ three submission victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Charles Oliveira (six) and Chas Skelly (four).

Josh Emmett

Josh Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was successful in his UFC featherweight debut when he defeated Felipe Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118 in October.

Emmett has earned all three of his UFC victories by decision.

Emmett’s four knockdowns of Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118 are tied for third most in a UFC fight. Only Jeremy Stephens (five) at UFC 215 and Forrest Petz (five) at UFC Fight Night 6 have scored more knockdowns in a fight.

Emmett is the only fighter in UFC history to land four knockdowns in a single round. He accomplished the feat against Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118.

Remaining main card

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Santiago Ponzinibbio’s (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) five-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied with Colby Covington for the second longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (six).

Ponzinibbio has earned 20 of his 25 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 16 of those wins in Round 1.

Ponzinibbio’s four first-round knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Anthony Johnson (five).

Ponzinibbio has landed 91 percent of his strikes in UFC competition from a distance, the largest proportion in welterweight history.

Mike Perry

Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by knockout. He’s earned seven of those wins in Round 1.

Perry has landed seven knockdowns in five UFC appearances.

Perry averages 2.58 knockdowns per 15 minutes of fighting in UFC competition, the third-highest rate in company history.

Glover Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is 4-4 in his past eight UFC appearances.

Teixeira’s nine victories since 2012 in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied with Ryan Bader for the most in the division.

Glover Teixeira

Teixeira’s seven stoppage victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Jon Jones (nine), Chuck Liddell (nine) and Ovince Saint Preux (eight).

Teixeira’s three submission victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are fourth for third most in divisional history behind Jones (five), Saint Preux (four) and Renato Sobral (four).

Teixeira completes 51.4 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC light-heavyweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Lyoto Machida (65 percent).

Teixeira has landed 86.8 percent of his significant strikes in UFC light-heavyweight competition to his opponent’s head, the largest proportion among active fighters in the division.

Misha Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. That includes all four of his UFC wins.

Cirkunov’s three submission victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Jones (five), Saint Preux (four) and Sobral (four).

Preliminary card

Jan Blachowicz

Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is one of two light heavyweights in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a body kick. He accomplished the feat against Ilir Latifi at UFC Fight Night 53.

Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is 2-1 since he dropped to the UFC light-heavyweight division in December 2016.

Cannonier has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) competes in his second UFC bout in a 35-day span. He lost to Karl Roberson at UFC Fight Night 120 in November.

Stewart is winless in his past three fights after starting his career with seven straight wins.

Galore Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is one of nine fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a slam. He accomplished the feat against Charlie Ward at UFC Fight Night 113.

Tim Elliott

Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) is 1-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in December 2016.

Elliott has alternated wins and losses in his past four fights. He suffered a defeat to Ben Nguyen in his most recent bout, at UFC Fight Night 110.

Elliott’s 35 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Demetrious Johnson (57).

Elliott lands 64.8 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Abel Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) was taken down a UFC record 21 times in his unanimous-decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 160.

John Makdessi

John Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back fist. He accomplished the feat against Kyle Watson at UFC 129.

Makdessi lands 51.4 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Olivier Aubin-Mercier (56.5 percent).

Makdessi defends 72.4 percent of opponent significant strike attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by first-round knockout.

Jordan Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is 0-2 since he returned from retirement in December 2016.

Mein enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since August 2014.

Erick Silva

Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) has earned all seven of his UFC victories by stoppage.

Silva’s six first-round stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Josh Koscheck for second most in divisional history behind Matt Hughes (seven).

Silva’s five submission victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Hughes and Gunnar Nelson for second most in divisional history behind Chris Lytle (six).

Silva landed all 18 significant strikes thrown in his 52-second knockout of Takenori Sato at UFC Fight Night 36. That’s the most in UFC history for a fighter who didn’t miss a strike.

Silva is the only fighter in UFC history to have three fights with the organization without absorbing a single strike.

Silva has been awarded seven fight-night bonuses for UFC welterweight bouts, tied with Carlos Condit for second most in divisional history behind Lytle (10).

Nordine Taleb (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) lands 53 percent of all significant strike attempts in UFC welterweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Matt Brown (54 percent).

Taleb defends 68.2 percent of all opponent significant strikes in UFC welterweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Glover Teixeira still aims to be Mike Tyson – just more tactical at UFC on FOX 26

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Onetime UFC light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira promises nothing will change about his style inside the cage when he meets Misha Cirkunov at UFC on FOX 26.

Well, almost nothing.

“I’m still going to be Glover,” Teixeira told MMAjunkie Radio of his bout with Cirkunov. “I’m still going to be that guy that comes after you with a Mike Tyson style to finish a fight. But I’m just going to take my time a little more. I’ve been working a lot on my timing (and) the right time to throw combinations.”

Like Tyson later in his career, Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) no longer has the luxury of ignorant opponents. They know what he brings to the octagon, and that’s come back to haunt him in fights where a win might have put him on the path back to the title after a 2014 loss to then-champ Jon Jones.

In his most recent octagon appearance, Teixeira was figured out quick by two-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson. A vicious uppercut led to his second knockout in three fights.

“I used to come forward and try to knock everybody out,” said Teixeira, who meets Cirkunov on the FOX-televised main card of Saturday’s event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. “But it’s time to study the game a little more.”

The lesson is apt for Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC), an aggressive talent with a penchant for catching opponents off-guard early in a fight. Prior to his knockout loss in May to current No. 1 contender Volkan Oezdemir, the No. 9 ranked fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings finished four straight opponents, including three straight by submission.

No slouch on the ground, No. 6 Teixeira will need his grappling skills to avoid danger on the mat. On his feet, he’ll just try being a lot more patient.

“I’ve just got to adjust my game and adjust the situations,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going on. I know I’m always training hard and always looking to finish fights. Maybe I’m too anxious. I’ve got to slow down a little bit.

“That’s why I’ve been working on my footwork a lot more with this fight. Footwork and timing, because I think that’s very important for the fights, especially after you’ve been in the game for a while. They start capitalizing with your game.”

And while there are no more secrets about what Teixeira brings to the octagon, he still believes he has enough skill to win a belt.

“I can’t change the past, so I’m going to try to change the future,” Teixeira said. “I’m going to try and make this happen. I still have a lot of fights in me. I still am in love with the sport. I love to train. I’m in very good shape right now, and I’m just learning and enjoying myself as a fighter. I want to become a champion. I’m right there; I’m No. 3 in the world (in the UFC rankings). I need to beat Cirkunov and get onto the title radar again.”

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2580 with Ricardo Lamas, Paul Felder and Glover Teixeira

Stream or download Friday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Ricardo Lamas, Paul Felder and Glover Teixeira.

Lamas, who faces Josh Emmett on Dec. 16 at UFC on FOX 26, called into the show to talk about his upcoming fight. Felder, a UFC lightweight and color commentator, stopped by the show to unpack his most recent fight with Charles Oliveira at UFC 218, as well as his experiences calling the action at UFC Fight Night 123. Teixeira, who faces Misha Cirkunov at UFC on FOX 26, called in to talk about his matchup this weekend.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

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Source: MMA Junkie