Light heavyweights Glover Texeira and Ovince Saint Preux headline Nashville fight card
NASHVILLE, TN – With 7 events already down this summer including the big Rousey vs. Correia showdown last weekend, fans may be experiencing a bit of fight fatigue. Alas, this is MMA and there’s no rest for the weary with UFC Fight Night 73 taking center stage this Saturday, Aug. 8 from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Let’s take a look at the card and break down each matchup fight-by-fight:
Light Heavyweight: Glover Teixeira vs. Ovince St. Preux
In the main event of the evening, former title challenger Glover Teixeira looks to reset his aim against Canadian contender Ovince Saint Preux. Glover is in the midst of a two-fight losing streak headed into this bout after winning 18 straight en route to challenging Jon Jones. He lost a clear decision in that bout which isn't a surprise but losing to Phil Davis in his next bout after was. As it stands, Glover has pretty much lost his last 2 fights, 8 rounds in a row, and he's now coming off a 10-month layoff.
Looking at his opponent, one can see an opposing trend in action. As opposed to losing, Ovince Saint Preux has won two in a row and 15 out of his 17. His last two wins have also come by first round knockout over decent competition in Mauricio Shogun Rua and Patrick Cummins. He's not one to be trifled with.
Stylistically both these guys are big light heavyweights and they both have the finishing ability to end this in a much shorter timeframe than the alotted 25 minutes. On the feet this may be a wash but OVP does have a four-inch reach advantage. Meanwhile, Glover has a proven chin and a better ground game. The key question here is whether Glover can get back to the point where he was destroying his opponents. If so, OVP is a good matchup for him stylistically. A win here puts Teixeira right back into the game as a title contender but a loss removes him from that picture for the remainder of his prime. This won’t be the prettiest fight but the likelihood is that Glover utilizes his clinch game and grit to grind it out.
Prediction: Glover Texeira by unanimous decision.
Lightweight: Beneil Dariush vs. Michael Johnson
If you’re looking for a fighter to watch on this card, it’s Beneil Dariush. A BJJ black belt with heavy hands, Beneil is riding a four-fight win streak with wins over Carlos Diego Ferreira, Jim Miller and Daron Cruickshank. And he’s only getting better. He’ll be taking on a tough Michael Johnson who's also won 4 in a row and can't be discounted. Johnson has used his speed and tenacity in the grappling game to grind out and overcome his last 4 opponents, most of who can be categorized as strikers. The issue with Dariush is that he’s well-rounded and powerful than Johnson’s previous opponents and can match him tooth-and-nail in the grappling game. This is a close fight but one that shows Dariush has what it takes to be a legit contender in the lightweight division.
Prediction: Beneil Dariush by submission.
Middleweight: Derek Brunson vs. Sam Alvey
One could call this a stereotypical striker vs. grappler match with Sam Alvey’s heavy handed striking pitted against Derek Brunson’s wrestling. Fortunately for Derek he’s also got some hands himself and is the stronger fighter of the two. That should carry him to the win.
Prediction: Derek Brunson by unanimous decision.
Heavyweight Jared Rosholt vs. Timothy Johnson
Everyone knows Jared Rosholt is a former NCAA All-American and top-flight wrester. His only KO loss to Oleksiy Oliynyk aside and “Big Show” has actually come along with his striker defense as well. One-fight UFC vet Timothy Johnson did debut with a TKO over Shamil Abdurakhimov back in April but chances are slim that he’ll have the wherewithal to stay upright long enough to put Rosholt in danger.
Jared Rosholt by unanimous decision.
Women's Bantamweight: Sara McMann vs. Amanda Nunes
Former wrestling Olympian Sara McMann has experienced a little tumble since losing by first round TKO to Ronda Rousey at UFC 170. She won her next one against former Invicta champ Lauren Murphy but didn't really look that impressive in pulling off the split decision win. She then lost to Miesha Tate at UFC 183 and she's now 1-2 in her last 3 fights after going 7-0 in her first seven. Can she come back to form and be as dominant as some presumed she would be when she started her career? This fight against Amanda Nunes is going to say a lot about where she’s going. In Nunes, what McMann will face is a powerful striker who comes out looking to win immediately. She’s by no means a slow starter. On the other side, what Sara has going for her, obviously, is her wrestling. She can tire Amanda out if the fight goes to deep waters and that’s exactly what she should do here to maintain her spot in the rankings.
Prediction: Sarah McMann over Amanda Nunes by decision.
Flyweight: Ray Borg vs. Geane Herrera
Kicking off the main card with be a surefire exciting bout between New Mexico’s Ray Borg and UFC debut fighter Geane Herrera. Fighting out of Tampa, FL, "La Pulga" (Herrera) comes into the bout with an undefeated 8-0 record but it is "The Tazmanian Devil" Ray Borg that's honestly the prospect to watch. The 22 year old has been highly touted since his early days in NM. To date he only has one career loss and it was a narrow split decision defeat to a respectable Dustin Ortiz mid last year. Borg has since come back to finish his next two opponents and in all likelihood, that lone defeat early in his UFC career probably made him a better fighter. He’ll show that here as he welcomes Herrera to the UFC.
Prediction: Ray Borg by decision or late stoppage.
• Uriah Hall over Oluwale Bamgbose by TKO.
• Chris Camozzi over Tom Watson by split decision.
• Dustin Ortiz over Willie Gates by submission.
• Frankie Saenz over Sirwan Kakai by TKO.
• Chris Dempsey over Jonathan Watson by TKO.
• Roman Salazar over Marlon Vera by split decision.
• Anthony Christodoulou over Scott Holtzman by submission.
UFC Fight Night 73 takes place this Saturday night, Aug 8. Tune in LIVE to catch all the action on UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1.
Cover photo: by Mike Calimbas of Mike Calimbas Photography