(Reuters) – Glover Teixeira defeated Anthony Smith with a fifth-round TKO in a one-sided light heavyweight bout that headlined the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Fight Night in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday.
Like UFC 249 last weekend, the event was held at a near-empty VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena with stringent health and safety protocols in place due to the COVID-19 crisis that has killed more than 82,000 people in the United States.
Smith came into the fight following a 10-month layoff after two surgeries to his right hand and while he began well it was the 40-year-old Teixeira who was in control.
Brazil-born Teixeira floored his American rival will a left hand in the third before a big uppercut in the next round left Smith telling his corner that his teeth were falling out.
Smith gamely came out for the fifth round but Teixeira took him to the ground quickly and the referee moved in to stop the fight to save the American from more punishment.
“It’s not how you hit, it’s how hard you get hit and keep coming forward,” Teixeira, who improved his win-loss record to 31-7 and took home a $50,000 bonus for the Performance of the Night, said. “That’s what it’s all about.
“I was hoping (Smith would slow down). The guy hits like a truck, man. But I move my head a lot. I trained so hard.”
The UFC’s next show at Jacksonville is on Saturday night and will be headlined by the heavyweight contest between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)