Glover Teixeira is the UFC's flavor of the month, just as Ryan Bader was as 2011 dawned.

Teixeira will meet Bader on Wednesday at UFC Fight Night in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in a bout that will have a significant impact upon the UFC's light heavyweight title picture.

Teixeira is 4-0 in the UFC and has garnered plenty of momentum since he joined the promotion 15 months ago. A win over Bader will likely mean a shot at the winner of the championship bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, who will meet at UFC 165 in Toronto on Sept. 21.

It's the same position Bader was in when he was preparing to meet Jones on Feb. 5, 2011, in the co-main event of UFC 126 in Las Vegas.

[Related: Sean ‘The Muscle Shark' Sherk announces his retirement]

Bader was 13-0 and, though it seems silly in retrospect given Jones' fast ascension to all-time great status, many were expecting him to defeat Jones and go on to a title shot against then-champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

The results of that fight, and of the next two-plus years, taught Bader a very bitter lesson. The fans are with you when you win. Lose, and the world can be a not-so-nice place.

Bader was submitted by Jones in the second round that night, the beginning of a stretch in which he went 3-3 and lost to three men (Jones, Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida) who either had or would hold the light heavyweight title belt.

He's taken a great deal of abuse for the losses, particularly regarding his submission defeat to Ortiz at UFC 132. He's gone on to win three of four since the Ortiz debacle and will be firmly back in the title picture with a victory over Teixeira, but he's not allowed to forget that shocking loss to Ortiz.

"It comes with the territory," Bader said of the loud, sharp voices of the critics. "I still hear about my losses, this and that. I've learned to ignore that kind of stuff. People are going to say things just to get a rise out of you and what not, but for me, I'm past that."

Getting past Teixeira is going to be a difficult challenge. Teixeira's UFC debut was long delayed, because paperwork issues related to a visa application made it impossible for the Brazilian to get into the U.S.

By the time he finally arrived in the UFC, he was 32 years old and a legitimate championship contender.

"Glover is awesome," his coach, John Hackleman, told Yahoo Sports. "He's a finisher."

Teixeira won his first four fights in the UFC so impressively that fans began pleading for him to face Jones for the belt.

Though Jones was instead matched with Gustafsson, who had been in the UFC longer and had a slightly better resume, Teixeira continued to be the guy everyone talked about.

He knows what's at stake with a win, but he insists he's not paying one bit of mind to Jones or Gustafsson.

"A win in this fight will put me in a nice spot," Teixeira said. "Everybody wants to talk to me about Jon Jones, but I'm not fighting Jon Jones. I'm in this sport because I want to be the best, and I want to fight the best, and right now, Jon Jones is the best. So, if someone asks me, I admit that.

"But that doesn't mean I think this fight is [a certain win]. I know that's not the case. There is pressure on me because of all of this, but it's a good pressure. It means that if I perform, something good might happen."

Bader, though, is all but dismissed in such talk. But he says he's a different fighter than he was two years ago, with a much more dangerous striking game.

He's worked on his hands with Jose Benavidez, whose son, Jose Jr., is one of boxing's top young prospects. Benavidez has helped Bader refine his striking.

Bader concedes that at one point, he simply tried to use his power to overwhelm opponents with a big right hand. He fired with vicious intent, like a pitcher trying to uncork a 100 mph fastball.

It was devastating if it landed, but it often left Bader out of position and vulnerable to a good counter attack.

Bader said his work with Benavidez has helped him tighten his boxing and allows him to set up his shots without getting out of position.

Teixeira has great standup, but is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who is just as dangerous with his submissions.

A win over Teixeira would mean a lot, and though it wouldn't put Bader next in line, it would re-establish him as one of the game's finest 205-pounders.

"He's up there as far as being talked about for a title shot with an impressive win and he's got a lot of hype behind him being undefeated in the UFC," Bader said. "Fighting that kind of a guy is what we want. I know I'm a big underdog and everyone is talking about Glover and Jon Jones and all that, and that's fine.

"This is where I love to be. I'm fighting with a lot to prove and a lot riding on it and that's all I can ask."

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Nik Lentz happy beating up Brazilians: 'Hopefully they learn to love me'

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

Despite going 4-1 in his past five fights, losing only to divisional standout Chad Mendes in that run, Nik Lentz doesn’t always seem to get the respect he believes he deserves. But this year, he plan read news >>

Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson reflect on not being able to beat the man to be the man (Yahoo Sports)

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: The light heavyweights are eager to fight for the title, but they wanted to knock off Jon Jones. read news >>

Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson reflect on not being able to beat the man to be the man (Yahoo Sports)

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

From Yahoo Sports: The light heavyweights are eager to fight for the title, but they wanted to knock off Jon Jones. read news >>

Making the Case for Ronda Rousey as the Pound-for-Pound Best in MMA

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

Over the past few years, only Jon Jones and Jose Aldo have been nearly as dominant over their divisions in the UFC as Ronda Rousey has. Despite recent off-the-Octagon issues, Jones is still undeniabl read news >>

Jon Jones Loses MuscleTech Sponsorship, While His NFL Brothers Remain

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

MuscleTech on Thursday became the latest sponsor to drop former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones from its roster of endorsed athletes. read news >>

Anthony Johnson: 'The gameplan hasn't changed; the gameplan is to whoop some ass'

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

While much has changed for Anthony Johnson over the past few days, the UFC light heavyweight contender said his plan for May 23 hasn’t been altered one bit.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

MuscleTech latest sponsor to drop Jon Jones in wake of UFC suspension, legal woes

  • 28 days ago
  • 13 views

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones, who was stripped of his 205-pound strap and suspended indefinitely, will say goodbye to yet another sponsor after read news >>

Champ Demetrious Johnson: My record is going to be very, very hard to break

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

With four finishes in his past five fights, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has a lot to smile about. Even better, he’s now a record-holder in the promotion for the latest submission in a U read news >>

Mayweather Pacquiao odds: Floyd Mayweather favored at -225

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Get the latest odds on this weekend's massive Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao superfight. Heading into the weekend, all eyes are firmly on boxing and the massive Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquia read news >>