The UFC did Glover Teixeira no favors when it planned his first title defense. After chasing a world title for over a decade, the popular Brazilian fighter won the light heavyweight title when he submitted Jan Blachowicz in October to become, at 42, the UFC’s oldest first-time champion.
Prochazka is one of those fighters who appears as if he could be special, a cut above the normal champion. Of course, he hasn’t won anything yet and he’ll have to prove it. But he’s won 12 in a row, 17 of his last 18 and is 22-1-1 in his last 24.
That’s made him a 2-1 favorite on Saturday to defeat Teixeira and become the UFC champion. Teixeira is a +165 underdog.
“Styles make fights,” UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports. “And stylistically, this should be a fun fight because you’re going to have Glover Teixeira, who’s got great standup, heavy hands, knockout power and you’re going to see him try to get this thing to the ground as soon as [expletive] possible, believe me.
“The other thing that’s interesting is many people believe that if it hits the ground, Jiri’s in big trouble. Many people believe if it stays standing, Glover’s in big trouble. We’re going to find out.”
Given the finish rate of these two, it’s likely not going the distance. Teixeira has 40 pro bouts. He’s won 18 by knockout and 10 by submission. He’s also been knocked out three times. So 78 percent of his fights end in a finish, one way or another.
Prochazka has 28 wins in 32 bouts and has finished 27 of them. He has 25 knockouts and two submissions. He’s also been knocked out twice and submitted once, with a draw there. His fights have a 94 percent finish rate.
At BetMGM, No is -500 on the question of whether the fight will go the distance. Yes is +333. I’ll lay the $500 and bet it won’t go the distance.
I also think this fight sets up well for Prochazka, so I’ll lay the 2-1 and bet one unit on him to win.
I like Valentina Shevchenko to defeat Taila Santos in the co-main event, but given I’m laying 5-1 on the Teixeira-Prochazka fight not going the distance, I’m going to pass on Shevchenko at -650.
I will lay -120 and bet that the fight goes to a decision.
Other bets for UFC 275
• I will lay the -140 and play Silvana Gomez Juarez to win over Na Liang.
• I’ll take the +125 and bet Jake Matthews to defeat Andre Fialho.
• I’ll bet Manel Kape to win by KO/TKO or DQ at +125 over Rogerio Bontorin.