On the 9th of July 2012, UFC officials confirmed a strong rumour regarding a matchup between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Glover Teixeira. After an injury pull-out from Jackson, we are finally here, just weeks away from a rescheduled clash between the two.
I don’t want to talk too much about the dramatics of Quinton Jackson making headline after headline blasting mixed martial artists who try to wrestle him, the UFC and stating he is leaving the UFC after his next fight and focus more on this great match up that the UFC have formulated instead.
Quinton Jackson and Glover Teixeira on the feet, strangely fight almost identically. Neither fighter really uses a jab to control the pace of the fight and their combinations and prefer to throw power hooks instead until their opponents fall, however they approach the situational encounters slightly differently.
Both fighters score knockout wins in wild exchanges
Glover Teixeira in his fights seems a lot more dynamic with his punching, his hooks coming left and right at great force and speed, a lot of the time uppercuts following these hooks and it’s really quite ridiculous because most of his opponents so far haven’t quite come up with an answer for the barrages, especially early in the fight. Teixeira has created a habit of becoming quite successful in those 50/50 situations when he closes the distance, scoring numerous knockdowns and knockouts. Jackson, who frequently likes to use his "cover and roll" move, it’s going to be interesting to see his retaliation if Glover decides to throw some hooks at him.
Speaking of Jackson’s "cover and roll" move, let’s get onto the stand-up guard of Jackson. Jackson possesses a tight guard which almost looks like he’s answering the phone (which Rashad Evans has talked about in the past). I have never seen Jackson NOT resort to this type of blocking when his opponents pour on the pressure. If you look at Jacksons recent fights, there have been 3 people that have rocked him in the cage. Jon Jones rocked Jackson with a counter punch and Rashad Evans rocked Jackson whilst he was anticipating the takedown. The third person was Keith Jardine and the reason I’m using Jardine as my resort here is because he rocked Jackson with an uppercut which is one of Teixeiras best punches.
Jackson's Tight Guard
Is the uppercut the answer for Jackson’s tight guard? I mean, the guard looks like it’s more orientated to defend/counter hooks and body shots. When he does it, his elbows are right to his hips which may present an opening for the uppercut. Will Teixeira have some success there?
It’s very difficult to look at the situation if Glover is able to land a takedown on Jackson. We’ve seen Jackson show grappling brilliance before from a defensive stand point, his fight with Rashad Evans, his armbar escape from
Lyoto Machida, his mount hip escape from Jon Jones. It didn’t prove too well in his last fight when he came in overweight running out of gas early, but if Jackson comes in the fight in shape, he’s got a tough task preventing Glover from passing his guard and just like I said about his stand up, it’s going to be difficult to defend the grappling early in the fight more than anything because when you see Glover fight, he’s DESPERATE for the finish in round 1 expending lots of energy on the feet and on the ground with power punches, passes and huge double/single leg slams takedowns.
If Glover is unable to threaten Jackson, it’s possible we may see 3 rounds of Jackson bullying Glover all over the cage. Whilst Teixeira seems to have quite a long list of victims on his record not very recognizable to the average MMA fan, he does have victories over a few UFC veterans by way of knockout, Ricco Rodriguez, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Marvin Eastman which brings me to the speculation that is driving me crazy…
"Will Teixeira Respect The Power Of Rampage?"
It’s safe to say that Teixeira has nowhere near fought anybody with the sort of knockout power that Jackson possesses, which drives me to really want to see Teixeiras motion when the bell rings. Will he go crazy with hooks? Will he shoot? Will he be intimidated by the power?
For some reason I am becoming accustomed to choosing the most even of fighters to break down. I think that if Glover comes into the fight in condition to make Jackson work hard for 3 rounds, I think he uses his signature pressure punching to push Jackson backwards working for clinches and takedowns and gets the job done that way. I also think Glover should really trust his punching in this one. Whilst saying that though, becoming apparent in most of his fights, one clean punch can change the pace of the bout.
I am picking Glover but very slightly.