Halloween is a time for scary tricks and tasty treats, and this weekend, while the kids are outgoing from house to house begging your neighborhood friends for some candy, fans of MMA have a treat of their own to look forward to this Saturday.
Make that two treats to look forward to this Saturday, beginning on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and UFC 267. Cage Fury Fighting Championships will deliver the nightcap of this Saturday doubleheader with CFFC 102 in primetime. The former will be the focus today.
UFC 267 Not On PPV in America
Although UFC 267 will be a UFC flagship (numbered) card, it won’t be screened as a pay-per-view inside the United States.
Rather, the 15-fight card will be shown on ESPN+ in America with no added pay-per-view fee, due to the eight-hour time differential between Abu Dhabi and the United States Eastern Time Zone.
Early prelims will begin Saturday at 10:30 am ET, with main card action at 2 pm ET on ESPN+, and all that’s required to tune into the event is a subscription to the streaming service, making UFC 267 the first UFC flagship event to not broadcast as a pay-per-view in almost exactly 10 years to American audiences.
UFC 138 in November of 2011 was the only other UFC flagship event to not be aired on pay-per-view, having been televised on a tape-delayed status the evening of the card on what’s now known as Paramount Network.
Light Heavyweight Supremacy to Headline UFC 267
With that history lesson now completed, let’s shift our focus back to this Saturday, specifically the UFC 267 main event, a fight that will see the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at stake.
In the UFC 267 main event, this Saturday, incumbent 205-lb. champion Jan Blachowicz (28-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) and top-ranked contender Glover Teixeira (32-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) will do battle for supremacy at light heavyweight in the latter’s 40th MMA appearance.
As with all UFC main attractions, the UFC 267 main event will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
UFC 267 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the UFC 267 main event this Saturday afternoon, both men stand level in height at 6-foot-2, but it’s the reach advantage where the fighters gain separation between them.
Champion Jan Blachowicz owns a two-inch reach advantage (78 inches to 76 inches) over challenger Glover Teixeira, as well as a 1 1/2 inch leg reach advantage (44 inches even to 42 1/2 inches) going into the fight this weekend.
After UFC 267 Main Event, Jan Blachowicz Eyes Adesanya Rematch in the Future
Jan Blachowicz enters the UFC 267 main event on Saturday on the strength of a 5-0 record in his last five UFC appearances, most recently scoring a unanimous decision victory against incumbent UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya last March in UFC 259’s main event, spoiling the latter’s bid to become a double-champ.
Although Blachowicz must first get past Glover Teixeira this weekend, he’s already looking ahead to a possible rematch against Adesanya in a future contest, something he mentioned in a recent interview with SCMP MMA.
During this interview, Blachowicz mentioned that Adesanya would have to defeat two or three opponents in order to gain a second chance at the 205-lb. strap.
“Yeah, why not?”, Blachowicz began. “It’s possible. But first of all, if you go through my category, now he have to do some fights, you know? Not, ‘OK, I go try again.’ Not for the title.”
A key storyline for Blachowicz on Saturday afternoon in the UFC 267 main event will be whether he can stay focused on what’s in front of him and not lose focus on Teixeira.
Glover Teixeira In Career Twilight
A universal storyline in the UFC 267 main event will be the fact that both Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira are in the twilight of their respective careers, with Teixeira being the elder of the two.
As previously stated, this fight will be Glover Teixeira’s 40th career MMA appearance, with Teixeira entering the Octagon this Saturday in the UFC 267 main event at 42 years, two days of age.
Comparatively, Jan Blachowicz will enter this fight at 38 years, 249 days old on Saturday.
The challenger enters this fight on a five-fight winning streak of his own, scoring a third-round submission (rear-naked choke) against Thiago Santos on Nov. 7 of last year in UFC Vegas 13’s headliner.
A key question for both men in the UFC 267 main event will be one of “how much do they have in the tank for this one?”
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the UFC 267 main event seems to favor Glover Teixeira, a second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a fifth-degree black belt in Kajukenbo, compared to Jan Blachowicz’ black belt in BJJ.
Watch For Blachowicz’ Takedowns
On film, Jan Blachowicz’s ground game is particularly evident, especially looking back at the footage of his most recent bout vs. Adesanya.
Although the fight started out slow, with the first round of the scheduled five being largely a feeling-out period for both men, and even though Adesanya was able to challenge Blachowicz by taking the lead on strikes in round three, it was Blachowicz’ ability to dump Adesanya down the stretch, and by fight’s end, he’d scored three takedowns against Adesanya.
If Jan Blachowicz is able to dump Glover Teixeira effectively in the UFC 267 main event this Saturday, momentum could swing in his favor here, just as it did against Adesanya back in March.
Look Out For Teixeira’s Ground Game
That night in the main event of the UFC’s second card in a week in Jacksonville, Teixeira dropped Smith with a vicious left hook, before softening him up with ground and pound shots from the back mount as he attempted to lock in a submission, but somehow, Smith was able to survive the onslaught– until the fifth round.
In the final round of the fight, with Anthony Smith already having lost some teeth earlier in the contest, Teixeira poured it on with relentless ground and pound shots to score the TKO inside an empty Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena.
In conclusion, the UFC 267 main event could be yet another entry in the “blink and you’ll miss it” file in MMA lore.
Either man could end this one with as little as a single shot, so make that fridge run before the fight starts.
Prediction: Glover Teixeira by Second-Round TKO.