Two of the best light heavyweights in the planet are going to throw down in Chi-town.
UFC officially announces light heavyweight fight between title contenders Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira. pic.twitter.com/kyR7qp6JBI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 5, 2016
Johnson vs. Glover
As announced by the UFC on Thursday over Fox Sports, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will face former one-time title challenger Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight contest that should have title implications written all over it. The #2 and #3 ranked UFC 205 pounders are set to fight as the co-main event of UFC on Fox 20 on July 23rd at the United Center.
The salivating matchup has been in the rumor mill since Teixeira called out Rumble Johnson after his one round TKO win over Johnson’s teammate Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 19 last month. That victory pushed Teixeira’s winning streak to three, with all wins coming by stoppage. In April of 2014, Teixeira challenged for the UFC Light Heavyweight title but lost to Jon Jones. He also lost his next bout to Phil Davis but since then he’s been on a tear to return to #3 in the rankings.
Johnson meanwhile, challenged for the vacant 205 pound title after Jon Jones was stripped of his belt by the UFC. Rumble faced Daniel Cormier at UFC 187 where he lost via rear naked choke in the 5th round. Since losing to DC, Rumble has knocked out his last two opponents, finishing Jimi Manuwa in 2 rounds at UFC 191 and Ryan Bader in 1 at UFC on Fox 18.
Johnson was said to have been the UFC’s first choice to replace Cormier at UFC 197 in what would have been an interim title bout against Jon Jones. But Rumble was coming off a dental procedure at that time and was in no condition to compete. The slot went to Ovince Saint Preux, who lost a 5 round decision to Jon Jones.
Title Shot on the Line
With Jones now the interim title holder and Cormier, the regular champion set to face each other at the main event of UFC 200, the winner of this match-up between Rumble and Teixeira is expected to get a title shot before the year is over, unless of course the Bones-DC rematch is headed to a trilogy, which however may be unlikely.
A bout between former womens bantamweight champion Holly Holm against Valentina Schevchenko is expected to be the event’s co-headliner. Holm was expecting a rematch with Miesha Tate or Ronda Rousey but surprisingly drew the Muay Thai expert instead. Schevchenko is 1-1 in the UFC but owns a win over women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in Muay Thai/K-1.