It took Glover Teixeira much longer than the average fighter to make his way to the UFC, but now that he’s arrived, the 33-year-old is quickly laying down roots in the Octagon.
He further cemented his place among the light heavyweight elite with Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 6 domination of former UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
In every facet of the game, Teixeira dominated, eventually scoring a unanimous decision victory. It was the Brazilian’s 18thconsecutive victory overall, and third straight in the Octagon, but by far his most important.
Despite being nearly the same age, Teixeira holds Jackson in high regard, and couldn’t have been more excited to fight, and beat, the man he has looked up to for many years.
“I’m a big fan of Quinton Jackson,” Teixeira said on the Fuel TV post-fight show. “I told him, he’s my idol. And he said, ‘Now I’m your fan. Go get em. Go and be a champion.’”
With such an impressive winning streak, coupled with his UFC trifecta, Teixeira, alongside Alexander Gustaffson and Strikeforce transplant Gegard Mousasi, are among the top contenders to the light heavyweight throne.
Teixeira is a realist, however, knowing that he doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines waiting for possibilities, and wants to be ready when the possibility becomes a reality. He wants to jump right back in the Octagon and stay busy. Now that he’s in the UFC, he wants to fight, not wait.
Asked if he now considered himself to be the No. 1 contender in the division, Teixeira made no bones about his answer.
“No, that’s not my job (to determine),” he said. “No. 1 contender now is Chael Sonnen. You gotta respect that and let him see what’s happening. I think Chael is a good fighter, but I believe that Jon (Jones) is going to keep the title.”
Jones and Sonnen, currently the coaches on the latest run of The Ultimate Fighter, will square off in the UFC 159 headliner this April in New Jersey. And UFC president Dana White has already declared that if Dan Henderson defeats Lyoto Machida in the UFC 157 co-main event in late February, he will be next up for the Jones vs. Sonnen winner.
That’s an element that factors heavily into Teixeira’s thinking when asked if he wanted to fight the winner of Jones and Sonnen, especially with the possibility that Henderson could already be waiting in the wings ahead of him.
“No, because it’s gonna take too long. I want to fight before that.”
It’s a good position for Teixeira to be in.
Yes, he’s won all three UFC bouts. Yes, his 18-fight consecutive winning streak stretches back nearly seven years, when he was fighting in the pre-Zuffa WEC.
But Teixeira is now under the brightest spotlight around, and the current champion is considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, not just the best at 205. If Teixeira wants to topple him, he needs his game to be dialed in to perfection.
He’s been fantastic thus far, but fighting Jon Jones is a whole different beast than fighting Fabio Maldonado or Rampage Jackson.
To have a chance of toppling Jon Jones, Glove Teixeira will need to be the best he’s ever been, and to do that, he needs to fight, and that’s exactly what he plans to do.
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