In the co-main event at UFC 202, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson takes on Glover Teixeira, with most fans and pundits expecting Johnson’s heat seeking missiles to find its target and get the job done. I beg to differ.
Much has been made of Johnson’s fistic time bombs, but in all honesty, that’s all he’s got going for him — take that away, and he’s at best mediocre. In the realm of MMA, even his junior college wrestling championship pedigree is nothing to write home about.
In addition, his cardio leaves a lot to be desired. And finally, once the aforementioned bombs fail to detonate and his cardio goes to pot, so does “Rumble” — he crumbles.
Bottom line is, Johnson, 32, hasn’t the requisite skill set of an all-round mixed martial artist — ain’t championship calibre — lacks the heart and never-say-die mindset of a true champion, or for that matter, one in waiting.
Both these cats have vied for the 205-pound strap before, and both failed in their respective bouts. Teixeira (25-4 MMA, 8-2 UFC) was upended by former divisional champ and current interim titlist Jon Jones via unanimous decision.
Conversely, Johnson (21-5 MMA, 12-5 UFC) contested for the vacant crown against incumbent champion Daniel Cormier; choking via rear-naked choke (pun intended).
If Teixeira weathers the early onslaught in the opening two frames, specifically the opening stanza, and from there on in vitiate, as well as temper Johnson’s next onslaught, then it’s a done deal.
At 36, Teixeira is no spring chicken, still, this is his to lose — Johnson is a one-trick pony, and the Brazilian will prove it come fight night.
Johnson and Teixeira knockout facts: both have 15 KOs apiece.
The winner of this fight, once again gets to joust with “DC” for the light heavyweight championship; put your money on Teixeira.
UFC 202 is scheduled to pop off Aug., 20, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.