The UFC comes to Tampa Florida for UFC on FOX 19 for what should be a fun night of fights. An injury to Tony Ferguson wiped out the original main event as he was slated to go up against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov is still on the card and will take on Darrell Horcher, while Glover Teixeira vs. Rashad Evans moves into the main event slot. The co-main event of Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson has been completely taken off the card due to Machida testing positive for a banned substance. As a result Dan Henderson will fight Hector Lombard at UFC 199. The new co-main event pits Strawweights Rose Namajunas against Tecia Torres. The card rounds out with Featherweights, Cub Swanson taking on Nacran Dias.
UFC veterans Rashad Evans and Glover Teixeira face off in what should be a very competitive fight in the light heavyweight division. After two years on the shelf due to injuries, Rashad Evans returned in October, 2015 with an uninspired unanimous decision loss to Ryan Bader. If Evans comes into this fight looking like the fighter we saw against Bader, then it's going to be a long, disappointing night for him. But should he come back showing he still possesses his timing and speed along with the strong takedown ability we’re used to seeing then Evans has a great chance of winning. Evans is going to want to use his takedown skills, and once on the mat utilize his strong ground striking game.
While Evans’ best chance at winning is on the ground, Glover Teixeira can win the fight either standing or on the ground. That being said, Teixeira’s biggest advantage is his striking where he possesses one punch knockout power. After losing to Jon Jones and Phil Davis, Teixeira bounced back with back to back wins against Patrick Cummins and Ovince Saint Preux.
At this point in time Glover Teixeira’s skills are better than Evans’ in every facet besides wrestling. Glover has fought steadily over the last three years compared to only three fights over that same time span for Evans. Unfortunately, I don't think it was ring rust that caused Evans’ to perform so poorly against Bader.
In the co-main event Rose Namajunas will look to avenge her first loss to Tecia Torres back in 2013. This is a big fight with the winner getting a title shot against either Claudia Gadelha or Joanna Jedrzejczyk. While both fighters have improved greatly since 2013, it's Namajunas’ whom has improved more. While it won't be easy, this is Namajunas’ fight to lose.
Glover Teixeira (24-4) vs. Rashad Evans (24-4-1) Current Line: Teixeira -210, Evans +175 Pick: Teixeira by decision
Rose Namajunas (5-2) vs. Tecia Torres (7-0) Current Line: Rose -180, Torres +150 Pick: Namajunas by decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0) vs. Darrell Horcher (12-1) Current Line: Nurmagomedov -1100, Horcher +650 Pick: Nurmagomedov by submission
Cub Swanson (21-7) vs. Hacran Dias (23-3-1) Current Line: Swanson -120, Dias ev Pick: Dias by decision
Enjoy the fights!
The Fighting Champion
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