After a brilliant UFC 249 card on Saturday, the UFC gets back to action just four days later with a Fight Night event. As with UFC 249, the event will be held at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida with no fans in attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The card is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira, with significant ramifications for the division. Smith is the No. 5-ranked light heavyweight in the CBS Sports UFC Divisional Rankings, while Teixeira checks in at No. 8. But they're not the only familiar faces at this event, which has intriguing fights up and down the card.
We took a look at the 11 fights scheduled to go down in Jacksonville and picked out the three fights you most need to keep an eye on.
Can't get enough UFC? Subscribe to my podcast -- State of Combat with Brian Campbell -- where I break down everything you need to know in the Octagon, and be sure to listen to our preview of UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira below.
Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira: Since moving up to light heavyweight, Smith has fought three current or past champions and two men who challenged for the title. In that time, he has gone 4-1 with the lone loss coming to division champ Jon Jones. In addition, all four of his wins in the division have come via stoppage. Including his time at middleweight, Smith has gone 15-3 since 2014.
Teixeira's recent run hasn't been as impressive, but he is on a three-fight winning streak and has fought plenty of killers in his UFC career, including his own loss in a title fight with Jones. Going back to the same 2014 start, Teixeira has compiled an 8-5 record and six of those have come via stoppage.
This is ultimately a battle between two men sitting on the edge of title contention. The loser will be knocked from the fringe while the winner stays alive in a division that could become wide open should Jones move up to heavyweight -- or manage to fall into more trouble with the law. Add the stakes to what should be a fan-friendly fight between two fighters who go for the finish and you have a must-watch main event.
Alexander Hernandez vs. Drew Dober: After losing his third pro fight, Hernandez rattled off eight consecutive wins, including two in the UFC before making a big jump in competition to fight Donald Cerrone in January 2019. He would ultimately lose that fight by TKO in a Fight of the Night. Hernandez successfully rebounded in July with a win over Fransico Trinaldo, but left much to be desired. Dober has been fighting in the UFC since 2013, going 8-5 during his Octagon stint. He is on a two-fight winning streak and 5-1 since 2017.
This lightweight fight has sneaky potential to win Fight of the Night. Both men have two post-fight bonuses in their careers and both tend to see fights finished rather than going to the scorecards. A win by either man would be a statement victory and push them close to breaking into the top 10 at 155 pounds.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Philipe Lins: Lins will be making his UFC debut after competing in Bellator and then winning the PFL heavyweight tournament in 2018. He has been out of action for more than a year but 15 of his 17 career fights have not made it to the final bell. Arlovski is 3-9 since 2016 and has been notoriously "chinny" in his career, catching 11 knockout losses in 49 career fights. He also has 17 knockout wins with 67% of his career fights have ended in a knockout or submission.
Arlovski needs a win to justify taking up a roster spot at 41 years old and Lins will be gunning to prove he can hang with the heavyweights on the biggest stage in the sport. That all lines up for some potentially explosive action on the preliminary card.