Following an eight-week hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, the UFC returned to action last weekend with a loaded card that exceeded projections for pay-per-view buys and set record handles at sportsbooks worldwide. The MMA giant is back on Wednesday with UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira from Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. Light heavyweight contenders Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira top a six-bout main UFC Fight Night card starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Both fighters made the 205-pound limit on Tuesday and declared themselves at full health for a bout that will put the winner in contention for a title shot, possibly later this year. Smith is a -188 favorite (risk $188 to win $100), while Teixeira is a +160 underdog in the latest Smith vs. Teixeira odds from William Hill. In the co-main event of UFC Jacksonville, Ovince Saint Preux (-15) faces Ben Rothwell (+125) in a heavyweight battle. Before making your UFC Fight Night picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Brandon Wise has to say.
A CBS Sports editor specializing in MMA, Wise has been dissecting the sport for five years. He specializes in picking main-card fights for UFC, which has enabled him to be profitable every year. Wise went a perfect 5-0 at UFC 239 and was 4-1 at UFC 245 and UFC 249. He also nailed Khabib Nurmagomedov's destruction of Conor McGregor in 2018, Stipe Miocic's upset of Daniel Cormier and Max Holloway's downfall in 2019. Across UFC 247, UFC 248 and UFC 249, Wise went an amazing 11-4 with his main-card picks, returning healthy profits for anyone following them.
Wise also nailed the main event of UFC 249 last Saturday, telling SportsLine members to expect Justin Gaethje (+155) to upset Tony Ferguson (-180) for the interim lightweight title. He argued that Ferguson would have difficulty focusing after having only a month to prepare for Gaethje and lose via TKO. He was proven correct after the underdog stopped "El Cucuy" in the fifth round. Anyone who has consistently followed Wise is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira fast approaching, Wise carefully has studied every matchup on the main card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for each fight. He's only sharing those selections here.
Smith vs. Teixeira expert preview
Wise knows Smith is looking to earn another shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones after dropping a unanimous decision in their meeting at UFC 235 in March 2019. The 31-year-old Texan bounced back from that defeat by submitting Alexander Gustafsson three months later.
Smith (32-14) has recorded more than half of his victories via knockout (18) and also has a dozen submission wins on his resume. Ranked third in the division after moving up in weight less than two years ago, he held the middleweight title in the Victory Fighting Championships and Cage Fury Fighting Championships.
The eighth-ranked Teixeira (30-7) is coming off a split-decision victory over Nikita Krylov in September that followed submission wins against Ion Cutelaba and Karl Roberson earlier in 2019. The 40-year-old Brazilian, a former Shooto South America 220-pound champion, is tied with Jones and Saint Preux for most finishes in the light heavyweight division in UFC history (10) and shares the record for most submission wins (five) in the weight class. You can see Wise's full Smith vs. Teixeira picks here.
Top UFC Fight Night predictions
Wise is backing Ricky Simon (-165) to beat Ray Borg (+140) in a bantamweight bout. "This is a must-see matchup on paper that should be an under-the-radar Fight of the Night contender," Wise told SportsLine. "Simon is coming off back-to-back defeats, but the latest was a Fight of the Night decision loss to Rob Font."
"Borg is bouncing back up to 135 pounds after weight-cutting issues at 125," Wise said. "It's always tough to judge how those things will affect fighters in their careers, but Borg has had issues with weight cuts in the past and, given the circumstances, it may be tough to expect him to be at 100 percent for this." Book Simon over Borg with your UFC Jacksonville picks.
How to make UFC Fight Night picks
Wise also has strong picks for Smith vs. Teixeira and every other bout on the main UFC Fight Night card. He's also backing a fighter who has the "hot hand." Get every pick for every fight on the UFC Fight Night main card at SportsLine.
Who wins Smith vs. Teixeira? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on Wednesday's main UFC fight card, all from the accomplished expert who has been profitable for five straight years, and find out.
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira odds
Anthony Smith (-188) vs. Glover Teixeira (+160)
Ovince Saint Preux (-135) vs. Ben Rothwell (+115)
Drew Dober (-125) vs. Alexander Hernandez (+105)
Ricky Simon (-165) vs. Ray Borg (+140)
Philipe Lins (-170) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+150)
Michael Johnson (-110) vs. Thiago Moises (-110)