RIO DE JANEIRO – If Glover Teixeira (21-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) plays his cards right, his next fight may earn him a shot at the UFC’s light heavyweight title.
UFC exec Marshall Zelaznik revealed at Saturday night’s post-UFC 163 press conference in Rio de Janeiro that UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva told him an impressive win by Teixeira in his upcoming bout with Ryan Bader (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) could earn him a crack at the belt.
“Dana and Joe have confirmed with a strong victory by Glover that he probably gets the winner of the Jon Jones fight,” Zelaznik said.
Teixeira and Bader meet in the headlining bout of next month’s UFC Fight Night 28 event, which takes place Sept. 4 at Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The evening’s main card airs on FOX Sports 1 following prelims that stream on Facebook.
The matchup was official announced in June, but Zelaznik’s revelation adds a touch more intrigue. The two were originally expected to meet in May at UFC 160 before Bader suffered an injury in training that knocked him off the card. He was replaced by James Te Huna, who was submitted by Teixeira in the first round.
Bader has won three of his past four fights after suffering the first two losses of his career to Jones, which got Jones a shot at the light heavyweight title he won and has yet to relinquish, and an upset setback to Tito Ortiz. Since then, he has stopped Jason Brilz, outpointed Quinton Jackson and submitted Vladimir Matyushenko in just 50 seconds in January. His lone loss in his past four fights was a second-round knockout this past August against Lyoto Machida.
Teixeira has a 19-fight win streak and is unbeaten in the UFC. His win over Te Huna was a “Submission of the Night” winner, and he has stoppages over Kyle Kingsbury and Fabio Maldonado, as well as a decision win over “Rampage” Jackson in January.
Jones, of course, is set to defend his belt agains Alexander Gustafsson at September’s UFC 165 event, which takes place less than three weeks after Teixeira vs. Bader. Much could happen between now and then, but the winner of the UFC 165 fight may have his next opponent already booked.
“Glover’s got an opportunity to go for that belt with a big win, so we’re expecting big things in Belo Horizonte,” Zelaznik said.
For the latest on UFC Fight Night 28, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Glover Teixeira)