The wait is almost over, as UFC 267: Blachowicz vs. Teixeira will take place in only 24 hours.
All the pre-event formalities are now officially out of the way now that the ceremonial weigh-in has concluded, so now it’s time for the action! The official weigh-ins have taken place, three members of our talented staff have given their picks, so now, fight fans, we wait.
You can find all the results and highlights right here on MMANews.com as it all goes down. In the meantime, here’s a preview of the UFC 267 lineup along with the final faceoffs from today’s ceremonial weigh-in!
Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Allan Nascimento
We kick things off in the flyweight division, with 13-1 Tagir Ulanbekov trying to start his UFC career at 2-0 when he takes on Allan Nascimento (18-5), who will be making his UFC debut. Nascimento tried to earn a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series three years ago but came up short after losing to current UFC bantamweight Raulian Paiva in a split decision.
After taking the next three years off, Nascimento returned with a first-round submission victory that has landed him in the UFC without a “rehearsal” needed. You can catch the face-off between these two firestarters below.
Andre Petroski vs. Hu Yaozong
The fire grows with these two middleweights coming to the center. Andre Petroski (6-1) will be looking to continue building momentum after a successful UFC debut where he earned the TKO victory over Michael Gilmore. His opponent, Hu Yaozong (3-2), has an 0-2 UFC record and is almost certainly fighting to keep his spot in the company in this bout. Check out the final faceoff between these two below.
Lerone Murphy vs. Makwan Amirkhani
Sleeper alert! This featherweight contest has strong potential to set the tone for the rest of the show. Amirkhani has won Performance of the Night on two occasions and has six victories in the UFC. The undefeated Lerone Murphy has three UFC fights under his belt, with two wins and one draw. He most recently defeated veteran Douglas Silva de Andrade, something only former champion Petr Yan has done since 2014. We’ll be hearing more about Yan later, of course.
But right now, all the attention belongs on these two featherweights, who got a close look at one another during the faceoffs, hours before their encounter. After their initial handshake, things swiftly turned cold.
Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Shamil Gamzatov
Once seen as one of the brightest prospects in the light heavyweight division, Oleksiejczuk suffered back-to-back setbacks after being finished by Ovince Saint Preux and Jimmy Crute. He showed an ability to bounce back and reminded fans of his promise in his most recent bout against Modestas Bukauskas, though it did not come easy and was earned via split decision.
His opponent, Shamil Gamzatov, will be putting his 14-0 undefeated record on the line. He, too, is coming off a split-decision win, which came in his UFC debut over Klidson Abreu. Here’s a look at their faceoff, where somebody flinched…and it wasn’t either of the fighters.
Benoit Saint Denis vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Up next, Benoit Saint Denis will be making his UFC debut, aiming to show Abu Dhabi and the entire fight world what a “God of War” looks like. So far, his record is unblemished at 8-0. If he wants to inch one step closer to the tidy 10-0 mark, he’ll have to numb the hopes of veteran Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. dos Santos once had a seven-fight win streak in the UFC before most recently losing two of his last three fights. This is a fight that could reignite a resurgence or solidify gatekeeper status. Check out the stoic faceoff between these two competitors below.
Albert Duraev vs. Roman Kopylov
Up next, it’s middleweights Albert Duraev (14-3) and Roman Kopylov (8-1). Duraev earned this opportunity with a neck-crank submission victory on Dana White’s Contender Series. On the flip side, Kopylov was just submitted in his own UFC debut, which came against Karl Roberson in 2019. Kopylov now returns for a second chance after a two-year layoff.
On a fight card that could be dubbed a “Russian invasion,” you can add these two prospects to the list. It’s Russia vs. Russia in this one, though, so a friendly faceoff could be expected. And that’s exactly what took place.
Ricardo Ramos vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
High-level contest here between two troublesome featherweights. Despite having four years of UFC experience already, Ricardo Ramos (15-3) is still only 26 of age and thus a prospect to keep a careful watch on. He has won three of his last four fights, with the sole loss in this stretch coming to the aforementioned Lerone Murphy. Just before that, Ramos had taken home Performance of the Night in his win over Luiz Eduardo Garagorri with his rear-naked choke victory.
His opponent, Zubaira Tukhugov, has also shared the Octagon with Lerone Murphy and came out of the fight with a draw. So what does that equate to in MMA math here? A split-decision win for Tukhugov over Ramos? We shall see. 11 of Tukhugov’s 19 career victories have come by decision, and two of his three UFC decisions were split. Faceoff below.
Amanda Ribas vs. Virna Jandiroba
Up next, in one of our three Under the Radar Fights, strawweights Amanda Ribas (10-2) and Virna Jandiroba (17-2) will compete in the feature preliminary bout. This will be the first fight on the card to feature ranked fighters. Amanda Ribas came into 2021 as one of the fastest rising stars in the entire company but suffered her first setback at the hands of Marina Rodriguez in January. Ribas will have a chance to hit restart before entering 2022 if she is able to be the third woman to defeat Virna Jandiroba.
Often when two high-level grapplers are pitted against one another, that leads to a standup battle. But with 13 of Virna Jandriboa’s 17 wins coming by submission, she might try to put her submission skills to the test against her fellow black belt. The last time she faced a fellow black belt, Mackenzie Dern, she lost via unanimous decision. Meanwhile, Ribas defeated Dern in 2019. So shall we pull out the MMA calculate math? Better yet, let’s just watch these two fight scientists show their work tomorrow! First, let’s look at their faceoff, which closed with a gleeful squeal.
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Kicking off the main card, we have a bout that was the second of our Under the Radar Fights and features the first big arrival from UFC 267’s Russian Invasion. Magomed Ankalaev is viewed by many to be the dark horse in the light heavyweight division. Ankalaev himself implied as much during the UFC 267 pre-fight press conference, where he implied that Jan Blachowicz has no idea what is headed towards him. His lone loss came literally one second before the fight ended in one of the most remarkable come-from-behind upsets in UFC history. Since then, he has been every bit as dominant as he was expected to be since before his UFC debut.
Volkan Oezdemir can say what only three other fighters on this card can say: He has competed for a UFC world title. Speaking with MMA News, Oezdemir said that he expects Ankalaev to run away in this fight. If he’s right, he will no doubt look to ensure that the Russian reaches the finish line of failure while he adds to his KO highlight reel. Check out the faceoff between these two light heavyweights below.
Li Jingliang vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat Chimaev has made his objective fairly clear: Kill everybody, get title shot. And in a perfect world, that title shot would come against Kamaru Usman before Usman walks away from the sport. That climb to the top starts with #15-ranked Li Jingliang.
For Chimaev, from the moment he watched Conor McGregor starch José Aldo in 2015, he knew that he could be in a similar position: making money for kicking ass. But all the money and the title shots only come with wins. So the undefeated Chimaev will need to keep the hype and undefeated streak alive tomorrow to stay on the fast track to achieving these riches. Meanwhile, Li Jingliang has shared that he is 100% certain that he will derail the hype train of Khamzat Chimaev.
These two had a tense faceoff yesterday, let’s take a look at the final one below, which carried a much higher intensity.
Alexander Volkov vs. Marcin Tybura
Here we have the third and final of our Under the Radar Fights with the only heavyweight bout on the card, featuring Alexander Volkov continuing the Russian invasion against Marcin Tybura. Last week, fellow Russian Fedor Emelianenko turned back the clock and picked up a KO victory in Bellator over former UFC fighter Timothy Johnson.
In the past, Volkov stated that it was a pity that Fedor never competed in the UFC, suggesting that he was unable to live up to his full potential as a result. Well, the good news is that Volkov is currently competing in the UFC and has been for the past five years. In fact, his UFC debut was in a win over the aforementioned Timothy Johnson. Volkov has made good on his UFC stint thus far, earning a #5 ranking at the moment. He will look to continue advancing up the ranks in the years to come after signing a new deal with the promotion earlier this year.
The first fight on that new contract will come against #8-ranked Marcin Tybura. Tybura currently has one of the best win streaks in the heavyweight division with five straight wins. The last two were Performance of the Night-winning knockouts over Walt Harris and Greg Hardy. Will it be a third straight tomorrow? Here’s the faceoff between these two heavies.
Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker
Islam Makhachev’s stubborn pursuit of greatness will continue in this short-notice present to MMA fans when he faces #6-ranked Dan Hooker. This pleasant surprise would not have been possible if Hooker didn’t bestow this gift by agreeing to the fight despite earlier accusations that he was ducking the Dagestani. Indeed, the fight will take place, and Makhachev will play a crucial role in the UFC 267 Russian invasion.
Makhachev and Hooker have been exchanging words for months now, and in the leadup to this bout, Dan Hooker has done the bulk of the talking. As one of the more media friendly fighters on the UFC roster, one of the points made by Hooker during his many stops ahead of UFC 267 is that he is not entering this fight with any built-in excuses. As such, he isn’t looking at this as a short-notice fight but will bring a confidence with him into the Octagon as well as inside information that Makhachev and his camp aren’t privy to.
Despite their disagreements on social media in the past and some of the mind games leading up to tomorrow’s fight, the two had another cordial faceoff hours before their confrontation.
Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen
It’s co-main event time, with two of the best bantamweight in the world vying for the interim title. Two standup fighters yet two conflicting styles make for some beautiful potential poetry between the confines of the UFC Octagon. This is a fight that former champion Aljamain Sterling expects to be very annoyed while viewing, but with the champion out due to lingering neck issues after surgery, “The Sandman” had to hop in to help clean up the jumbled bantamweight division.
Sandhagen does hope that Sterling recovers so that he can rematch him and TJ Dillashaw also for that matter, but the test before him is tough enough. Petr Yan has yet to lose in the UFC outside of his controversial DQ of Sterling. Yan has moved on from that mishap, though, so much so that he isn’t even too warm on the idea of fighting Sterling again. Sterling may be the elephant in the room for now, but you can believe all the attention will be on these two showstoppers the second this thrilling matchup begins. Here is the final faceoff before the big day.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira
In the main event, two light heavyweights who know how to overcome adversity and can relate to one another will look to have another memorable moment in their great careers. Teixeira himself said that he knew Blachowicz would become a champion shortly before he won the title, and both men have made it clear that they respect their opponent. Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that Blachowicz, with apologies, has informed Glover that he is about to get knocked out.
Jan Blachowicz is expectedly coming into the main event as the betting favorite. But this is nothing new for Teixeira, who has even been counted out often as of late, even by his own friends. However, Teixeira’s journey to the top has been a long and celebrated one, with the Brazilian currently enjoying a healthy five-fight winning streak.
Blachowicz has been very open about his strategy coming into this fight, and like any champion, he will be confident in its implementation. For Teixeira, he will have the support of some of his peers, namely the legendary Randy Couture, who is ready to welcome Texeira to the post-40 champion’s club; and Anthony Smith, who expressed that he “needs” Teixeira to win for the message that would send to fighters and to the world.
No doubt a win for Teixeira would rank as one of the most inspirational stories in the history of our sport, joining other memorable moments like Dominick Cruz’s 2016 title win after suffering multiple injuries and having been out for a year and half right before the victory; Michael Bisping’s unlikely arrival at the top, underdog Brandon Moreno becoming the first Mexican champion, and so many others. Standing in Teixeira’s way of pushing through and making this story a reality is Polish Power.
Here is the final faceoff prior to tomorrow night’s special feature event.
Be sure to join us here on MMANews.com for all the results, highlights, and updates surrounding UFC 267! And if you haven’t already, subscribe to ESPN+ now to witness this feature showcase as well as all the many great UFC and PFL events to come!
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