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Glover Teixeira vs. Ilir Latifi UFC Fight Night 134 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/22/18

Ilir Latifi vs. Glover Teixeira

UFC: Sunday, July 22, 2018 (Barclaycard Arena)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Glover Teixeira and Ilir Latifi fight Sunday during UFC Fight Night 134 at the Barclaycard Arena.

Glover Teixeira enters this fight with a 27-6 record and has won 63 percent of his fights by knockout. Teixeira has won five of his last seven fights and is coming off a December win over Misha Cirkunov. Teixeira is averaging 3.73 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43.3 percent. Teixeira is averaging 2.39 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 51.1 percent. Teixeira actually landed 10 less strikes than his opponent in his last fight, but he came away with an impressive knockout victory and bounced back nicely from his loss to Alexander Gustafsson. Teixeira will now fight for the first time this year and hopes to continue holding it down for the older guys, as he’s quickly approaching 39 years old. Teixeira has proven his versatility over his career, as he lands accurate and powerful punches to where he can fight standing up, and he's a successful takedown artist with seven submission victories under his belt. Teixeira also had a chance to force a submission in his last fight, so he’s clearly not your typical heavyweight who relies heavily on pure strikes. Given his age and experience level, Teixeira is one of the smarter fighters you’re going to find and isn’t someone who is going to beat himself. This will be Teixeira’s first career fight in Germany. 

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Glover Teixeira vs. Ilir Latifi UFC Fight Night 134 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/22/18

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Ilir Latifi enters this fight with a 15-5 record and has won 40 percent of his fights by knockout. Latifi has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a February win over Ovince Saint Preux. Latifi is averaging 2.37 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Latifi is averaging 2.33 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37 percent. Latifi had one of the better showings of the year so far, as he landed 27 quick strikes and produced a first round submission, earning performance of the night honors. OSP had simply nothing for the Swede and was dominated from start to finish in his home state. Latifi now has just one loss in the last three years and is quickly making a case for a title shot in this division. Latifi isn’t the most accurate striker in the world, but he is very powerful and doesn’t need to land cleanly to score a knockdown on his opponent. Latifi has also shown lately that he’s very comfortable on the canvas where he has produced five submission victories overall and has five takedowns in his last two fights. Latifi is a well rounded fighter and highly successful when he’s controlling the pace, but he can show a shaky chin at times and can be taken advantage of standing up. This will be Latifi’s second career fight in Germany. 

There’s a lot of reasons to consider Teixeira for this fight, as he’s the more experienced, bigger and more polished fighter. Teixeira lands more accurate strikes, is better with his takedowns and is going to have a three inch reach advantage. Latifi can be a bit wild at times, isn’t super effective with his takedowns and does have a bit of a suspect chin. Against a guy who has won majority of his fights by knockout, that’s scary. However, I’m still betting on Latifi. He’s the younger fighter, is coming off a dominating performance that needs to be up there with one of the best this year, and has become much more effective with his ground game the last two times we’ve seen him. At almost 35 years old, it seems like we’re starting to see the pieces come together for Latifi as he climbs up the rankings.

This is a statement fight for Latifi, and I expect him to pass the test.

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