UFC Jacksonville in tweets
UFC Jacksonville is in the books and the reality of an event with no fans is now the normal.
Kicking off the main card on a Wednesday was a Lightweight bout between Michael Johnson and Thiago Moises. It was the former who started better with crisp strikes and by backing the Brazilian up as he dominated the first round. As the second started, Moises shot for a single leg and after a scramble managed to take it to the ground. As Michael Johnson tried to escape, Thiago managed to hook his heel and it forced the ‘Menace’ to tap as Moises picked up the biggest win of his career.
Next up was a heavyweight bout between former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski and promotional newcomer Philipe Lins. Both men were swinging early on looking to make a statement in Florida with Lins showing his speed advantage against the veteran. Arlovski landed a sweet spinning back-fist to end the first 5 minutes. As Lins was slowing, the former champion was starting to find his range with some success despite Philipe’s urge for a brawl. Andrei was utilising his range and stance switching to put a little pressure on Lins. That continued into the last round as Arlovski landed the cleaner shots on his way to an unanimous decision victory.
Ricky Simon and Ray Borg were on deck next in a featured Bantamweight bout. Simon was looking to bounce back after back to back losses and was putting the pressure on Ray Borg and completed 4 takedowns with nearly two minutes of control combined with several significant strikes. Simon was clearly aiming for the takedown and Borg was doing a decent job of defending them but once again Simon got him down and controlled him for the rest of the round. Ray Borg’s body shots were on full view as he started the last round better but as he was taking control, Simon once again went to the ground and saw out the fight.
A potential fight of the night was up next as Lightweight standouts Alexander Hernandez and Drew Dober squared off. Both men were light on their feet as we witnessed a fast scrappy start. Heavy strikes were landing on both sides as we approached the end of the first. As Dober started to land more frequently, Hernandez’s movement was limited to a standstill. Drew finished the fight at the end of the second as Hernandez turned into a punching bag, earning Dober the biggest win of his career.
The co-main event was upon us then as Ben Rothwell was welcoming Ovince Saint Preux into the Heavyweight division. OSP spent the 15 minutes of the fight maintaining his distance from Rothwell who was almost stalking his prey. In the clinch, Big Ben landed good knees and you could see the weight disparity between the pair as they grappled on the side of the cage. OSP landed a short left hand which momentarily dropped Rothwell but he shot straight back up to his feet as both fighters were visibly tired. As we went to the judges scorecards, the fight was in the balance and it was Ben Rothwell who got the nod via split decision. It remains unclear as to where OSP goes from here moving forward.
Two former light heavyweight title challengers were then facing off in a light heavyweight showcase in Jacksonville as Anthony Smith squared off against Glover Teixeira. Lionheart looked good early with the speed and power clearly in his favour. Glover was second to the punch and Smith was looking to end the fight early.
In the second round, Anthony landed a good left hand which almost instantly closed the left eye of Teixeira but the American was slowing down at a rapid rate and he was getting into trouble as Glover landed a good combo on the side of the cage.
The fast pace of the third round was too much for Smith as Teixeira downed him with an uppercut and could have finished the fight but decided to go for a submission rather than striking his way to victory. During rounds 3 and 4, Smith complained that he was losing his teeth but his corner decided to send him back out, but once again he was dropped by the Brazilian early on. Everyone was surprised to see Anthony come out for the final five minutes, but as expected, Jason Herzog stepped in at the start of the round to save Anthony Smith from any more damage.
Check out the reaction below
Glover Teixeira vs Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith has the heart of a lion. A true go out in his shield warrior.
So grateful I get to call him a friend/brother #UFCJAX
— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) May 14, 2020
Anthony Smith deserves his nickname (Lionheart). Incredible performance for Teixeira (a 40 years old man). #UFCJAX
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) May 14, 2020
Ben Rothwell vs Ovince Saint Preux
Man it was weird seeing OSP fight at heavyweight, made it seem so much more real for me. Especially knowing he was at 240lbs. With a little more cardio, he would’ve been 🍒 I was visualizing myself as him that whole fight
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 14, 2020
Drew Dober vs Alexander Hernandez
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) May 14, 2020
Full results below
Glover Teixeira bt Anthony Smith via TKO (punches) Round 5- 1:04
Ben Rothwell bt Ovince Saint Preux via Decision (split) (28–29, 29–28, 29–28)
Drew Dober bt Alexander Hernandez via TKO (punches) Round 2- 4:25
Ricky Simon bt Ray Borg via Decision (split) (28–29, 29–28, 29–28)
Andrei Arlovski bt Philipe Lins via Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28)
Thiago Moises bt Michael Johnson via Submission (Ankle Lock) Round 2- 0:25
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