BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – Glover Teixeira is not the kind of man to call someone out. Humble, even a little quiet, the 33-year-old slugger prefers not to rock the boat. However, with a title shot on the horizon, Teixeira admits he’s got a specific target in mind.
With his UFC Fight Night 28 win over Ryan Bader (15-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Teixeira (22-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) earned a shot at the winner of UFC 165's title fight between light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, and the Brazilian contender admits he’s prefer to fight the reigning champ.
“My dream is to get the belt, but I believe Jon Jones will win,” Teixeira said after Wednesday’s event. “That’s the way I see it, and I definitely prefer to fight him, in a certain manner because Jon Jones has a better name. He’s been a champ for a long time, so whoever goes to face him has to be very focused, very well-trained.”
Teixeira and Bader met in the main event of Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 28 event, which took place at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The card marked Teixeira’s first UFC headlining slot, as well as his first professional fight in his home state.
The win didn’t come easy, as Bader was able to rock him twice in the opening round but was unable to secure the finish. Instead, Teixeira picked himself up off the canvas and landed a thunderous two-punch combination that sent Bader crashing to the floor.
Teixeira quickly followed, earning a first-round TKO stoppage.
Afterward, Teixeira was visibly upset with his performance. He later explained he was simply disappointed to have allowed himself to be hit so cleanly.
“I was thinking a lot about the knockout, and I was waiting for that,” Teixeira said. “I was waiting for him to punch me so I could counter him, but I was very close to him. That’s where he got me. I remembered we always have to move, and we always have to be first. I have to do my strategy, which is always to move the head around and to go forward and to make those punches connect. I didn’t move around, and that’s where the problems started.
“I was a bit upset because despite Ryan Bader being a huge athlete and a great fighter, we always want to be the guy who goes in and dominates. I think the secret of the fight is for us to hit and not get hit, to punch and not get punched.”
Despite the early struggles, Teixeira did earn the victory, giving him an incredible 20-fight winning streak. After the press conference, he admitted he may have been a little hard on himself and that legendary Brazilian slugger Pedro Rizzo had advised him to recognize the magnitude of his win.
Either way, it appears a title shot is in his future. And if Teixeira’s prediction is correct, it will come against Jones, the man currently considered the world’s best pound-for-pound and light-heavyweight fighter, according to the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA rankings.
Teixeira thinks he’s got a plan to unseat the champ.
“The knockout power, I believe I have it, and if I hit him, he’s going to go down,” Teixeira said.
For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 28, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.