Teixeira Tops St. Preux in UFC’s Nashville Main Event
*Written on location- Bridgestone Arena, Nashville TN
A night that started with Saliva’s “Welcome to the Show” and other tracks fit for a rave had fans on their feet and raving at its conclusion, but for a different reason than one might think. Before the lights went out, so did Ovince St. Preux, who left Bridgestone Arena defeated after Glover Teixeira ended his night with his arms raised by way of a Round 3 rear-naked choke.
Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman, who opened the card, has surely heard the joke about going to a fight and seeing a hockey game break out, but he’d better get used to those jokes. The former semi-pro player sealed the deal on his UFC debut with a third round rear-naked choke against Anthony Christodoulou. Teixeira was victorious in the exact fashion, with both contests filled with moments of flash and flair.
After connecting with a body kick on Teixeira in the first, it appeared that the rest of St. Preux’s game plan went out the window. St. Preux kept going back to kicks, but went to the well too many times, being taken down by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and smothered for the rest of the round. The second also belonged to Texeira as well after his use of less impactful but cumulative attacks to damage the hometown hero, “OSP”.
As the contest entered its final five minutes of duration, Teixeira had St. Preux scrambling, trying to figure out what to do next. From the top position Teixeira continued to control the fight as St. Preux failed to keep Teixeira in his guard and cautious of wanting to grapple. Due to this, even on the ground St. Preux was losing the battle, admittedly trying to go for the finish and end the fight after the one big kick while his opponent better paced himself and picked the right times to capitalize.
With both legs of Teixeira keeping St. Preux fully mounted and with a constant stream of offense raining down on him, St. Preux saw no other way out but to turn over, thereby surrendering his back.Despite having the support of arguably everyone in the arena, St. Preux went to sleep at 3:10 of the third.
“My last performance was bad and I told myself I wanted a performance like this. I’m back man, Saint Preux is a great fighter...I’m back. Cormier, I’m coming for you baby,” Teixeira said.
M. Johnson vs. Beneil Dariush
Born a St. Louisan, Michael “The Menace” Johnson stepped into the Octagon on a four win streak. He left with his momentum halted after Beneil Dariush secured the decision of all three judges, albeit a controversial one. Shown as an American in the official UFC Fight Night program, the born Iranian (who later draped himself in an American flag, and who fights out of Yorba Linda, California) traded with Johnson for fifteen straight minutes amidst “USA!” chants from the crowd in a bout that, it could be argued, looked more like a game of tag.
The lack of grappling was due to the fact that Johnson, a wrestler, stopped all seven takedown attempts of Dariush . It could be said that the fight was lackluster as neither warrior really went to war with exception to Johnson’s rapid-fire blows to end Round 1 that appeared, initially, to have Dariush out on his feet. Johnson put fists in the face of Dariush, but failed to drop him. With that said, it could be argued that even one knockdown would have won him the fight after this decision has many up in arms.
“The first round, he outlanded me and hit me harder. In the second round I feel like I scored more and it was closer; I think the superman punch off the cage won me the round. The third round won me the fight because I landed more than him. I just beat the number five guy in the world, I don’t need to call anyone out anymore. You want a title shot in the lightweight division? I’m the fastest way to it. You beat me, you get the attention of dos Anjos and Kings MMA and you get a title shot,” Dariush said. Johnson had a different take on how things went down: “He didn’t put his hands on me, he backed up the whole time.”
As a reminder, here is what the UFC scoring system is based on: effective striking, grappling, aggression, and Octagon control.
Johnson was the striker in this bout, and could probably be considered the aggressor. Grappling was nonexistent from both, and you can’t be in control of the Octagon and not be considered the aggressor. In Johnson’s defense it’s hard to score points and even harder to get a KO or submission when your opponent is backstepping.
Thanks to that strategy, the fight had nowhere to go but the cards. Not to be over simplistic, but when there areas of a bout that are up in the air even in the mind of one person, room for debate is there. That necessitates the need to leave no doubt.
Given that this fight is now in the books, it is now a fact that this is something Johnson didn’t do. Johnson vs. Dariush in one word was: mindboggling. Please find video for yourself dear reader.
Nunes vs. McMann
The third marquee bout featured 2004 Olympic silver medalist freestyle wrestler and former opponent to the now 12-0 Ronda Rousey, Sara McMann squaring off against up and comer, Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes.
Before McMann, Nunes already had eight finishes in the first; McMann headed to her locker room as the ninth on a growing list. Nunes wanted to prove her worthiness for a shot against Rousey for the Women’s Bantamweight belt. Although to some, a win against yet another Rousey victim might not sound that impressive, Nunes is second behind Rousey for the most fight finishes in the division with four and six respectively.
McMann “didn’t understand” the picking of Miesha “Cupcake” Tate for a trilogy-making bout with the “Rowdy” one and thinks she’s the one to beat Rousey despite suffering a TKO in just over a minute in their first title fight. She was put down in just under three minutes with Nunes after a textbook rear-naked choke, which was preceded by a lightning left-right combination.
“I just didn’t feel like I ever got in my zone, my timing was off and I just didn’t feel right out there. I think I scratched my eye and after that it felt like something was in it the rest of the fight and I was really off. It clearly wasn’t my night and it sucks,” McMann said.
Nunes’ road to Rousey and championship gold might not last too much longer.
“I feel so grateful and happy. This was a big win for my career. I’m very healthy right now and my coaching was great all through my camp. Everyone has been there for me, so when my two teammates lost earlier in the night I knew I needed to win this one for my team...I think my body shot hurt her and after that I punched her in the face, but the body shot hurt her the most. I’ve been looking for someone to put me in the top five and I feel like a win over someone like Sara will do that for me,” Nunes said.
“...I’m closer now..Whatever happens, I’m gonna’ be ready…I don’t need to talk, I’m gonna’ show ‘em. I’m gonna’ step in the cage.”
Nunes received a $50,000 check as one of the Fights of the Night along with “OSP” and Teixeira.