USA TODAY: UFC title hopeful Glover Teixeira relishes return to Brazil


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.

Related News

  • an hour ago
  • 0 views

Patrick Cummins will make his return to the Octagon in December. The UFC announced on Wednesday that Cummins is set to take on Antonio Carlos Junior at the UFC Fight Night 58 card in Barueri, Brazil, read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 1 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing its brand of mixed martial arts (MMA) back to Brazil for UFC Fight Night 56, headlined by a light heavyweight showdown pitting former 205-pound champi read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC is back in Brazil, as UFC Fight Night 51 comes live to you on Fight Pass on Saturday. Headlined by Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski, the card boasts many native sons who will look to put on read news >>

  • 6 days ago
  • 0 views

The fight card for UFC Fight Night 56, the organization’s November return to Brazil, has three new additions.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Last time he fought in his homeland of Brazil, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua lost via knockout to Dan Henderson. This time out, he'll look to make things right on the home front against another heavy-handed read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – Prior to today’s UFC Fight Night 51 fighter weigh-ins, you can watch a live video stream of the UFC Fight Club Q&A session with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey at 2 read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 1 views

Talented flyweights Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso will collide over the 125-pound title UFC 178 later tonight (Sat., Sept. 27, 2014) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. With st read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing its brand of mixed martial arts (MMA) back to Brazil for UFC 179, headlined by a featherweight rematch pitting division champion Jose "Junior" Aldo op read news >>

  • 13 days ago
  • 0 views

Come Dec. 20, C.B. Dollaway will take a quantum leap forward in the middleweight division and face the biggest challenge of his career. The TUF 7 finalist out of Tempe, Ariz. will meet former UFC lig read news >>