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

Invicta FC 19 Fight Card Finalized with Tiffany Van Soest Facing Kalyn Schwartz

  • 26 days ago
  • 17 views

Invicta Fighting Championships today announced the last match-up for Invicta FC 19, finalizing the eight-fight card. read news >>

Kim and Nelson to Headline UFC's Return to Belfast

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC® announced today that No.10-ranked “The Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim will take on No.12 Gunnar "Gunni” Nelson in Belfast on Saturday November 19 at the SSE Arena. read news >>

UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem Fantasy Cheat Sheet

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 views

In today's fantasy preview, we're going to examine some of these fights to see who has the edge going into Saturday night and if there might be an upset brewing on the card as UFC 203: Miocic vs. Ove read news >>

Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook: Someone’s “0” Must Go | FIGHTLAND

  • 17 days ago
  • 6 views

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports On Saturday night, London’s O2 Arena will bear witness to Brit Kell “The Special One” Brook stepping up two weight classes to face the Kazakhstani boxing p read news >>

Fabricio Werdum Kicked Travis Browne's Coach and It Was Hilarious | FIGHTLAND

  • 13 days ago
  • 24 views

Photo by John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Watching the first round of the rematch between heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne at UFC 203 this past weekend was like watching an action mov read news >>

Fight Night Hidalgo Fantasy Cheat Sheet

  • 13 days ago
  • 0 views

In today's fantasy preview, we're going to examine Fight Night Hidalgo and some of the key matchups taking place in Texas at UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Johnson. read news >>

Olympic Gold Medal-Winning Wrestler Kyle Snyder Wants to Compete in MMA | FIGHTLAND

  • 12 days ago
  • 4 views

Photo by Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports The UFC has a penchant for Olympian medallists. Bantamweights Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann both have bronze and silver medals to their credit respectively, wh read news >>

Where Does CM Punk Go From Here? | FIGHTLAND

  • 12 days ago
  • 1 views

Photo by John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Whatever you may think or ever thought of CM Punk, the acerbic ex-WWE champion and subject of a lawsuit by one of WWE's doctors, his career trajectory was read news >>

Weighing the Options of Fabricio Werdum After UFC 203 | FIGHTLAND

  • 12 days ago
  • 10 views

Photo by John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Last weekend, on the main card of UFC 203, former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (21-6-1) separated himself from an embarrassing knockout loss to read news >>

What Does Everyone Else Deserve When Jon Jones Returns? | FIGHTLAND

  • 9 days ago
  • 3 views

Photo by Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jon Jones has reduced the UFC's 205-pound weight class to a supporting cast of characters, and he's done it by barely fighting at all. The long-reigning light he read news >>