glover-teixeira-6.jpg(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – THE UFC conducts its third fight card in seven days tonight. Although the latest has been overshadowed by its predecessors, UFC Fight Night 28 features three contests with top-10 fighters, led by the matchup of light heavyweights Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader.

Teixeira (21-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC), ranked seventh in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA rankings, and No. 10 Bader (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) headline the event at Mineirinho Arena (5 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1).

Teixeira, a Brazilian who lives and trains in Danbury, Conn., returns to his home state of Minas Geraisto compete professionally for the first time.

“When I was fighting in Brazil, I was always thinking I would eventually get on a card in Belo Horizonte so I could fight in my home state, but I never got that opportunity,” Teixeira told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com. “Now I’m in the UFC, and I’m fighting in the main event here. It’s going to be great. It’s very exciting. I hope all the people will come to support me.”

Teixeira, 33, a longtime training partner of UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, made his UFC debut 16 months ago but already has four wins, each more impressive than the last. Recently, UFC Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik said that a “strong victory” against Bader could earn Teixeira a shot at the light heavyweight title.

Teixeira, who was not present at that August press conference, said he heard about the opportunity almost immediately but said it will have little effect on his approach to the fight.

“Right away my friends called me and said, ‘Guess what,’” Teixeira said. “But no matter what happens, whether I could have a title shot or not, I’m going to step into the octagon the same way. I’m going to go for the knockout. That’s the way I fight.

“I’m going to push the pace. I’m going to try to control the octagon and finish the fight as fast as I can. It’s not a matter of doing something different because I might have a title shot later. That’s the way I fight.”

Bader, a two-time Division I All-American wrestler and winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 8,” represents the best wrestler Teixeira has faced. However, Teixeira has a 19-fight winning streak, 17 of which came by stoppage, a testament to both his knockout power and submission abilities.

Wednesday’s event represents Teixeira’s opportunity to transition from long-hyped prospect to true championship contender, and he’ll do it before a friendly crowd that will include his four siblings. Unfortunately, his parents will not be there.

“My dad wanted to go, but my mom, she gets nervous,” Teixeira said. “She doesn’t watch the fights live. She records them watches them later. So my dad is just going to stay home and keep her happy.”

Also on the card, No. 4 middleweight Yushin Okami (29-7 MMA, 13-4 UFC) meets No. 8 Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (18-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC), and No. 2 flyweight Joseph Benavidez (18-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) faces No. 5 Jussier Formiga (15-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC).

For the latest on UFC Fight Night 28, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Bellator files lawsuit against 'Rampage' Jackson ahead of scheduled UFC return

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Bellator MMA today filed a lawsuit to block onetime tournament winner Quinton Jackson from fighting in the UFC.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>

Tickets for Miocic vs. Hunt Go On Sale Thursday March 5

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 views

The UFC® today announced ticket prices for the upcoming UFC® FIGHT NIGHTTM: MIOCIC vs. HUNT, which takes place at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on May 10. read news >>

Tickets on sale today for UFC 187's two title fights in Vegas, $1,042 gets you cageside

  • 24 days ago
  • 33 views

Tickets go on sale today for May’s UFC 187 in Las Vegas, featuring a pair of title fights at the top of the bill.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Announce Czech Broadcast Partnership

  • 21 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC® EMEA today announced a new and exciting broadcast partnership with NOVA Sport which will see UFC events broadcast for the first time in Czech Republic and Slovakia. read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, March 10: Big stakes at UFC 185

  • 20 days ago
  • 2 views

After a fairly quiet weekend on the MMA front, Saturday’s UFC 185 event presents a number of compelling matchups with highly ranked fighters in a variety of divisions.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Ranki read news >>

Alistair Overeem details difference between him today and last time he fought in Dallas

  • 18 days ago
  • 34 views

DALLAS -- Alistair Overeem talks about his UFC 185 against Roy Nelson, the difference between him today and the last time he fought in Dallas, why he is a good fit at Team Jackson-Winkeljohn, what he read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, March 17: Rafael dos Anjos on the rise

  • 13 days ago
  • 2 views

This past Saturday’s UFC 185 saw a major upset in the main event with the lightweight title changing hands, and that means a major change in our rankings. Filed under: Bellator, Featured, MMA Ranking read news >>

UK Police Arrest Suspected Major Uploader of Pirated WWE and UFC Content

  • 12 days ago
  • 5 views

A significant uploader of UFC and WWE torrents was taken into custody today in the United Kingdom. The UK's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested a 55-year-old male in Leicestershi read news >>

Tickets on sale today for UFC 188 in Mexico City, $585 gets you cageside

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 views

Tickets go on sale to the general public today for June’s UFC 188 in Mexico City, featuring a heavyweight title unification fight at the top of the bill.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Trending News

Top News

Jump to: