UFC brass today announced the contest, which had been rumored for some time. Teixeira currently sits at No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, while Davis is just behind him at No. 7.
The bout will serve as the co-main event of UFC 179, which takes place Oct. 25 in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanazinho Gymnasium is expected to host the pay-per-view event, though UFC officials have yet to confirm the venue.
A featherweight title fight between current champion Jose Aldo and top contender Chad Mendes serves as the main event.
The matchup could be an intriguing one, given many thought Davis should have been ahead of Teixeira in the pecking order for a shot at Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title this past spring. But it was the Brazilian who got the shot at UFC 172, with Davis in the co-feature position against Anthony Johnson.
Teixeira in April challenged Jones for the belt, and while he became just the fifth opponent to ever take Jones the distance, it was little solace as he was dominated in the fight, losing with a trio of 50-45 scores.
That loss snapped a 20-fight winning streak for U.S.-trained Brazilian, including a perfect 5-0 start to his UFC career that included stoppages of Kyle Kingsbury, Fabio Maldonado, James Te Huna and Ryan Bader, and a dominant decision win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Davis is no stranger to Brazil. Twice in his past four fights, the American has gone into enemy territory and done what statistically has been a tall order in the UFC by beating a Brazilian in his home country. At UFC 153, he choked out Wagner Prado in Rio. And at UFC 163 a year ago this weekend, he took a unanimous decision from former light heavyweight champion and recent middleweight title challenger Lyoto Machida, stunning the Rio crowd.
The win over Machida gave him three straight. But in a fight against Johnson that could have inched him closer to a title shot, where he was in 2012 when he lost to Rashad Evans in an elimination fight, Davis was dominated by “Rumble” and was swept on the scorecards at UFC 172.
Wins for each fighter are crucial, as a two-fight skid in the increasingly loaded 205-pound division could mean a long climb back to contention.