UFC 267 fight card — Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira: Five biggest storylines to watch in Las Vegas

The marquee is loaded with huge names because the UFC units to kick off the primary of pay-per-view stage battle playing cards on back-to-back weekends.  

This Saturday marks the return for the promotion to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi as mild heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz fights atop a UFC 267 card in opposition to former title contender Glover Teixeira. The occasion will mark a uncommon free PPV for battle followers with the UFC not desirous to stage an analogous card the next week with a large UFC 268 set to go down inside New York’s Madison Sq. Backyard.  

Contemplating the depth of the UFC 267 present, there are not any scarcity of storylines to sift by means of. Let’s take a better look.  

1. Blachowicz out to show he is something however a transitional champion 

Given his age and late evolution from journeyman to contender, it was tough not to wonder if Blachowicz’s upset win over Dominick Reyes to seize the vacant UFC mild heavyweight in 2020 can be brief lived. Make no mistake, it was a feel-good story. But, within the aftermath of long-time champion Jon Jones giving up his title, the thought of Blachowicz, now 38, setting forth to start his personal title reign of consequence wasn’t on the entrance of the thoughts. A victory over Teixeira, himself an inspiring instance of perseverance, would have Blachowicz on his means towards constructing a pleasant one. A unanimous determination in March in opposition to reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in Blachowicz’s first protection went a good distance in suggesting the Polish slugger is perhaps right here for some time. Blachowicz will probably be a 3-1 favourite in opposition to Teixeira within the sort of type matchup that ought to check his well-rounded sport throughout the board. 

2. At 41, Teixeira shouldn’t be taken calmly 

As a battle journalist, there are only a few pure moments that strip away the occupation and remind you what merely being a fan of the craft nonetheless appears like. Teixeira, some seven years faraway from his first UFC title shot in opposition to Jon Jones, has a chance to create smiles throughout the board from the previous hard-cores. The native of Brazil just isn’t that far faraway from three losses over a five-bout stretch, which appeared to recommend his finest days have been behind him. As an alternative, Teixeira discovered the fountain of youth by means of laborious work and evolution. By specializing in the basic features of his floor sport, he started to make use of his grappling rather more as a weapon. A five-fight win streak ensued, together with 4 by stoppage (with three submissions). The 2 most up-to-date have been additionally probably the most spectacular as Teixeira proved to be the final man standing in slugfests in opposition to Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos just by being clever, affected person and violent when the second most demanded it. Teixeira’s environment friendly rebirth has been fascinating on a number of ranges and doubtless would get extra consideration if not for his reserved and humble demeanor. Both means, he’ll have a shot at cementing his legacy with the immortality that comes from turning into a champion. And he is a menace in opposition to Blachowicz in doing so in practically each class.  

3. Petr Yan vs. Corey Sandhagen would possibly as properly be for the undisputed bantamweight title 

Sounds a bit harsh, no? Let’s simply say latest luck hasn’t been favorable for the UFC by way of holding enterprise as ordinary atop a loaded 135-pound division. Though the load class is perhaps the deepest within the sport, the chain of command is damaged for the time being. Aljamain Sterling might need the title, however he has something however a convincing declare to it following a disqualification win over Yan in a battle Sterling was clearly shedding. Whereas the result’s something however Sterling’s fault, his subsequent damage layoff and up to date identified nerve harm places his preventing future in query. Is it an interim title bout pairing two fighters who lately misplaced to the present champion an ideal state of affairs? Not precisely, but it surely’s clearly the very best out there transfer, particularly contemplating TJ Dillashaw, contemporary of a disputed determination win over Sandhagen in his comeback battle, is not fairly wholesome sufficient to return. Fortunately for followers and UFC brass alike, Yan-Sandhagen is a cannot miss battle between two opponents poised to take over management of the division. And given Sterling’s uncertainty, it is the closest facsimile UFC can create in direction of discovering out who’s the very best 135-pound fighter of the second. 

4. Islam Makhachev is a harmful menace to Dan Hooker’s ambition 

Hooker, within the days following his September win over Nasrat Haqparst, selected to remain put in the USA relatively than journey again to his household and endure a prolonged quarantine in his native New Zealand. Contemplating how much-needed Hooker’s win was at UFC 266 and the way a lot momentum he would possibly construct off he dominant efficiency, which noticed him shift from a striking-heavy assault to a extra balanced effort behind his wrestling, the transfer was checked out as a probably strategic one. Discuss a threat/reward state of affairs Hooker now finds himself in by drawing the red-hot Makhachev, who rides an eight-fight win streak and seems to be on the verge of breaking out in an enormous means. Makhachev was a childhood pal of Khabib Nurmagomedov and is perhaps the closest factor the UFC has to attempt to reinvent the previous light-weight champion’s mystique and dominance. Hooker would discover himself straight again within the bigger 155-pound title image with a win however he’ll be a wholesome underdog in making an attempt to take action. Whereas Hooker’s newfound love of wrestling is promising for his future, it possible will not imply a factor in opposition to somebody of Makhachev’s expertise on the mat. A win of this stature can be an enormous revelation as to only how excessive Makhachev’s ceiling truly is.  

5. Khamzat Chimaev’s return is occurring considerably beneath the radar

Given how spectacular Chimaev regarded in a breakout 2020 that noticed the native of Russia report three stoppage wins in simply two months, one would suppose his comeback from sickness can be a much bigger story. As an alternative, the 27-year-old Chimaev has been quiet within the leadup to his welterweight return in opposition to Li Jingliang. A part of what makes that silence, and the dearth of buzz surrounding it, so intriguing is that Chimaev has loads of questions that want answering relating to his situation. At 6-0, the two-division menace has but to go the gap by means of 9 professional fights. But, his latest battles with COVID-19, which hospitalized him a number of instances and canceled plans for a December return in opposition to Leon Edwards, stay a really fluid state of affairs. Chimaev went by means of a lot bodily that he brazenly contemplated retirement till controversial Chechan dictator Ramzan Kadyrov got here out publicly to overrule Chimaev’s issues and make sure the public their fighter would return. What lingering results, if any, these well being challenges have had on Chimaev will probably be examined in what’s anticipated to be a high-paced battle with Jingliang. 

https://www.cbssports.com/mma/information/ufc-267-fight-card-jan-blachowicz-vs-glover-teixeira-five-biggest-storylines-to-watch-in-las-vegas/ | UFC 267 battle card — Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira: 5 greatest storylines to observe in Las Vegas


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