Alexander Volkanovski backs Jiri Prochazka to ‘finish the fight early’, while Gilbert Burns and Dan Hooker tip Glover Teixeira to retain his belt… MMA stars predict UFC 275 main event
- Glover Teixeira takes on Jiri Prochazka in the main event of UFC 275 on Saturday
- Brazilian is underdog with bookmakers but many fighters are picking him to win
- That said, Alexander Volkanovski thinks Czech challenger will come out on top
- He disagrees with the likes of Gilbert Burns, Dan Hooker and Curtis Blaydes
Glover Teixeira will attempt to defend his light-heavyweight title for the first time in the main event of UFC 275 this Saturday.
The Singapore headliner will see dangerous striker Jiri Prochazka aim to dethrone the 42-year-old and continue his 12-fight winning streak.
Interestingly, the bookmakers have the Czech rising star as favourite, but most of their peers are opting for Teixeira to show his experience and come out on top.
Glover Teixeira’s peers are largely picking him to retain his title this Saturday
One of the minority backing the European, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski was one of the more convinced.
‘I have to go with Jiri,’ the Australian said on his YouTube channel. I did say last time that Jan (Blachowicz) would be too dangerous if he hits him and I was wrong and he weathered the storm.
‘Can Glover weather the storm again now, 100 percent but do I think he can do it again? I think it is going to be tough. I think Jiri will probably finish this early.
‘Glover can finish it, obviously he’s got heavy hands so he could even grab him, finish him on the ground or knock him out himself.
‘I just think that is going to be a hard task. Jiri will be very dangerous, very explosive and unpredictable and I feel like he’ll get the finish.’
Alexander Volkanovski believes that Jiri Prochazka could knock out Teixeira early
Meanwhile, Michael Bisping sat on the fence, preferring not to make a pick because he is commentating on the bout.
‘Glover has the better boxing, more technical for sure, he’s probably the better wrestler and I would say that he has better jit-jitsu as well,’ he said on his YouTube channel.
‘When you look at the fight, all the accolades go to Teixeira so you’d think he’d win but I don’t know if he does. Prochazka is a wild man, the way he fights is so unique.’
Jamahal Hill and Henry Cejudo are behind Prochazka to win the belt at the first time of asking.
‘I think it will be real fun, I see Jiri trying to come out striking, being loose. I don’t think Glover can afford to eat some shots,’ Hill told Helen Yee Sports.
Henry Cejudo is backing Prochazka to dethrone the 42-year-old champion
Cejudo added: ‘Jiri is going to have to go for broke and really use his striking. Glover’s wrestling is really good and I wish Jiri would have spent a little more time with the wrestling stuff. Hopefully he can go out there and win that title.’
But welterweight contender Gilbert Burns and former UFC star Tito Ortiz think the Brazilian will get it done.
Burns added: ‘I think it is a 50/50 type of fight, if Glover goes forward and takes him down then he will take it.
‘But if that guy comes in crazy and swinging it could be a tough one. I think Glover will get it done, I’ll always be in his corner.
And Ortiz said: ‘I think Glover will win by knockout. I say in the second round. Teixeira is an amazing athlete, works with great guys and finally got his time to shine and it is nice to see a champion shine the way he does.’
Jan Blachowicz lost to Teixeira but believes the Brazilian will retain the belt in Singapore
Teixeira is peaking late in his career and thinks he could still have a couple of fights left
Interestingly, Jan Blachowicz, who was beaten by Teixeira for the belt, believes the title will be retained. He told James Lynch: ‘I think he will defend the belt. I hope he does because I would like to take it back out of his hands.’
Dan Hooker agreed, saying: ‘I like Glover, I like his career and perseverance an that he’s a champion at his age. I have an avalanche of respect for that man, I’m picking him.’
And another to throw their weight behind the Brazilian was Curtis Blaydes, who thinks the veteran is experienced enough to know his way to win.
‘I’m going with Glover’, he said. ‘He knows his path to victory and he’s not going to deviate from his plan. He’ll eat shots but he’s already proven he can be dropped and win fights.’
Anthony Smith is another man to have lost to Teixeira and thinks the 42-year-old can stay at the summit of the division.
Teixeira’s ground game is superior and he has better wrestling, according to a number of fighters
‘I think this is another good match-up for Glover Teixeira’, he explained.
‘I love Prochazka’s style, I think he’s amazing and I would love to share the octagon with him. I believe Teixeira matches up very well with him.
‘Prochazka got taken down and mounted by Dominic Reyes, if a hurt Reyes can do it, a fresh Teixeira can. I think Glover has a big advantage in the wrestling and jiu-jitsu.’
And former middleweight contender Robert Whittaker agreed: ‘Honestly I’m going to go with Glover.
‘I went against him once and never heard the end of it. He’s got some of the best grappling and boxing in that division.’
But both Jack Hermansson, who has sparred with Prochazka, and former UFC fighter Kevin Lee, think the favourite will take the crown.
Teixeira is an underdog with the bookmakers, just as he was before he claimed the belt
Hermansson said: ‘I’d have to give it to my man Prochazka. We’ve trained together and I like the guy, I know how extremely awkward he is, especially in the stand-up. He is just really hard to prepare for.’
‘I think Jiri has youth on his side, Glover might be a flash in the pan even though you have to respect what he’s done’, added Lee.
Israel Adesanya did not deliver a conclusive verdict but spoke about what Prochazka must do to succeed.
‘Prochazka’s striking is awkward but it works for him,’ the middleweight champion explained. ‘He is long, rangy but everything you do leaves you open. If he is patient then he will win. If he fights the way he did against Reyes then Glover could weather the storm and counter.’
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