JACKSONVILLE — Glover Teixeira dominated Anthony Smith and finally stopped him with punches early in the fifth round Wednesday night, earning an upset victory to cap the UFC’s second show since returning to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell grabbed an entertaining split-decision victory over Ovince Saint Preux, and Drew Dober stopped fellow lightweight contender Alexander Hernandez with a second-round barrage of punches during the second of three UFC cards over eight days at a fan-free VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
The promotion returned to action last Saturday with UFC 249 after an eight-week hiatus. The UFC established extensive protocols for health and safety in its return, and veteran fighter Jacare Souza was pulled off last weekend’s show after he tested positive for COVID-19 along with two cornermen.
The second show went off without a positive COVID-19 test, and more masks were visible on UFC personnel inside and outside the cage Wednesday. Middleweight Karl Roberson’s bout with Marvin Vettori was scrapped when Roberson was hospitalized overnight after he fell ill, but the illness was related to his weight cut and not coronavirus, according to the UFC.
The UFC’s third show in Jacksonville is Saturday night on ESPN Plus, headlined by veteran heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.