Anthony Smith says he’s backing former opponent Glover Teixeira to defeat Jan Blachowicz in their title fight on October 30.
Smith flatly lost to Teixeira in May of last year in what was perhaps the worst example of a delayed quit in recent MMA history. Smith was literally picking his teeth up on the canvas as Teixeira landed some vicious ground strikes and, at one point, even apologized to the American.
In his next fight, Teixeira clinched a submission victory over fellow Brazilian and former title challenger Thiago Santos. It was the 41-year-old’s fifth straight win, earning him his title shot against Blachowicz. Teixeira had already fought for the belt in 2014, losing to Jon Jones by unanimous decision.
Anthony Smith thinks Glover Teixeira ‘deserves’ victory over Blachowicz
With 51 professional MMA fights under his belt, perhaps there is no light heavyweight more qualified to say who deserves to win the belt than Smith. And he thinks that man is fellow veteran Teixeira, who is set to fight for the title again in his twentieth UFC fight.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani at the time of MMASmith praised Blachowicz as the model champion but said Teixeira deserved to claim the belt.
“I really like Jan, a huge fan of him and the way he behaves. I think he’s a fantastic champion, a fantastic competitor. I don’t hear anything good about who he is as a person. I’d love to drink beer with him someday. But damn, I just need Glover Teixeira to win. And not because he beat me and it makes me look better. I just think this man deserves it, ”Smith said.
Former title challenger Smith has said that a Teixeira victory would be a fairytale ending the Brazilian’s career and inspire the older generation of UFC fighters.
“If Glover Teixeira can ever sail into the sunset, at least for that time, wearing a 12-pound gold belt around his waist, I just think it would do the world a lot of good. It gives hope to a lot of people like me, and it motivates a lot of older guys. And it’s just a feel-good thing, so hopefully Glover (wins), ”Smith said.
Since his loss to Teixeira, and shortly thereafter to Aleksander Rakic, Smith has rebounded to great shape. The 33-year-old is leading a two-game winning streak after claiming first-round saves against Devin Clark and Jimmy Crute.
He will next face light heavyweight Ryan Span, ranked No.11, at UFC Vegas 37 on September 18.
What do you think? Will Glover Teixeira finally win the belt against Jan Blachowicz?