The message being transmitted loud and clear ahead of tomorrow night’s co-main event at UFC 202 is simple – don’t blink!
With a combined 30 knockouts between them – that’s a 65% KO ratio – Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira are two of the biggest hitters on the UFC roster. In fact, it’s now two years since either man required the opinions of the judges. And with a potential 205lb title shot at stake here, both admit they’re coming to the Octagon swinging.
“Something crazy is going to happen,” Johnson offered with a grin following yesterday’s open workouts in Las Vegas.
And we all know what happens when ‘Rumble’ has a smile on his face. Both Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa felt the power of a happy Johnson in 2015. While added to his Ryan Bader KO in January – all three leading contenders combined never made it past one round with the Blackzilians’ former welterweight.
“I’m going to get the win because I’m going to try to whoop him. He’s going to try to whoop me and I’m going to try to whoop him. Glover is a warrior, I respect him, his camp is great and that’s what it’s all about, respect.
“Glover has tremendous knockout power. Am I worried about it? No, but I’m not going to ignore it… It’s going to be a fight, that’s what Glover and I are going to give you.”
Meanwhile, Teixeira, who has bounced back from back-to-back defeats in 2014 to cap a 3-0 run in the Octagon with the first round destruction of former champion and Johnson teammate Rashad Evans in April, admits he’s at his best when the cards are against him.
Glover says: “I’m really excited for this fight. This is my time to be aggressive. I’m looking forward to this fight and I feel that I’m ready to go.
“With Anthony, I want to make sure that I stay away from the cage and don’t give him any opportunities. I definitely have the advantage on the ground. He’s a great boxer but I feel that I am ready to do whatever it takes to win.”