Most of the picks on our 2011 World MMA Scouting Report have been previously unmentioned talents that have risen to the top of this year's crop. A year ago, many of these fighters weren't known by most fans. Fighters like Chris Weidman, Gunnar Nelson, and Ryan Jimmo are the exceptions as both Weidman and Nelson have huge hype surrounding them while Jimmo has been spotlighted in the MFC for a very long time. But the rest of the pack, most fans have never heard about until our report surfaced or they had scoured the Internet to find out more information about up-and-coming prospects.
At #4 on our 2011 World MMA Light Heavyweight Scouting Report, Glover Teixeira (11-2) is another name to add to the handful of fighters who we previously mentioned back in 2009, but has yet to see the light of day in a major mixed martial arts promotion. Most fans watched him dismantle Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at some point during their travels on the various websites of the MMA community, but few realize that Glover may be on the verge of a breakout year that includes big things in the UFC.
Offensive Skills: Glover's offensive arsenal is vast, and you'd expect that from an eight-year veteran of the sport who hasn't been able to earn his shot with promotions like the UFC or even regional promotions in North America due to visa issues and opponents turning down fights against him. The latter issue is understandable. There aren't a lot of guys willing to risk their records against a talent like Teixeira, and it doesn't take more than five minutes of video to realize that Teixeira will urgently seek out a knockout from the opening bell.
His aggression is one of the big reasons why he's found success over the course of his extensive career. He isn't the type of fighter to strike from distance and peck away at his opponent's defenses. He moves in quickly, winging straight punch-overhand combinations with a hope he'll end the night in spectacular fashion. For the most part, he's done that with eight knockout victories in eleven career wins, one of those wins being a five second flash of brilliance at PFC VI in Leemore, California back in January of 2008.
On the ground, Glover is very active, always looking to pass guard and do as much damage as possible. He isn't much of a submission artist due to his propensity to want to knock his opponents out, but he is such a positionally dominant grappler that it would only take a change in his philosophy on the ground for him to begin submitting opponents at will.
Defensive Skills: Any fighter willing to run at opponents and throw flurry upon flurry is prone to the counter. Glover is no exception, and that's the one area of concern for him defensively. He will stand toe-to-toe with opposition, but he is normally the more technical puncher. He lands far more often than not, and he does mix up his punches at times when he sees openings to the body. The only concern here is that he'll eat an overhand that slips through his defenses as he's swinging for a finish.
On the ground, Glover rarely gets into danger. When he is caught in a precarious position, he's usually already working to escape and move back to his feet where he can pummel his opponents. Look no further than the Daniel Tabera fight for a peek at the utter domination that Teixeira can implement on the ground.
Progression: His stand-up has become much more crisp in terms of technique. In the earlier days of his career, it was evident that Glover was still working on progressing his skills to the next level, but he had a tendency to throw the technique aspect of striking out the window in his fights. He became a wild brawler, and we see today that he's a little more patient in seeing openings and jumping on them.
But don't read that comment as Teixeira being a boring fighter. When he sees an opening, he'll aggressively seek out a conclusion to the fight instantly, firing on all cylinders and throwing much straighter opening blows to his three or four punch combinations. Furthermore, Teixeira's gas tank is very good, allowing him to throw that type of power in the late second and third rounds.
|#1 - Thiago Michel
#2 - Ricardo Tirloni
#3 - Magno Almeida
#4 - Ui Cheol Nam
#5 - Henrique Mello
#6 - Reza Madadi
#7 - Alexander Sarnavskiy
#8 - Ole Laursen
#9 - Guillaume DeLorenzi
#10 - Al Iaquinta
|#1 - Yuri Villefort
#2 - Alex Garcia
#3 - Erick Silva
#4 - Douglas Lima
#5 - Luis "Sapo" Santos
#6 - Jesse Juarez
#7 - Gunnar Nelson
#8 - Quinn Mulhern
#9 - Alberto Mina
#10 - Joe Ray
|#1 - Papy Abedi
#2 - Chris Weidman
#3 - Vitor Vianna
#4 - Vyacheslav Vasilevsky
#5 - Bruno Santos
#6 - Costantinos Philippou
#7 - Jordan Smith
#8 - Uriah Hall
#9 - Victor O'Donnell
#10 - Assan Njie
|#4 - Glover Teixeira
#5 - Jan Blachowicz
#6 - Yoel Romero
#7 - Ryan Jimmo
#8 - Nik Fekete
#9 - Marcus Vanttinen
#10 - Ronny Markes
Environment: Teixeira has worked extensively with The Pit over the years as he was one of Chuck Liddell's training partners as well as a coach with the team. As you would expect, Glover also trains heavily in Brazil, and you can see Pedro Rizzo in his corner for many of his most recent fights with Bitteti Combat. He's been a training partner to Lyoto Machida in recent years, but he regularly trains with high profile fighters Vitor Miranda, Thales Leites, and Antonio Jaoude.
Potential: Glover is currently married to an American citizen, and his green card application is currently being processed, which according to an interview with Tatame -- may take up to 27 months. Until then, the 31-year-old will more than likely take some fights in Brazil until he's given the green light by the United States government. He fought four times in 2010, and there is no reason to believe he won't fight at a breakneck pace in 2011.
As far as his fighting potential goes, he's a clear cut top light heavyweight in the UFC. He has the well-rounded skill-set, power, and aggression that the UFC looks for in their fighters, and he continues to win with that combination of attributes. If Glover isn't finally allowed accessed to the U.S. as of August, look for Glover to make a splash in the UFC at UFC Rio.
Glover Teixeira Highlight
Glover Teixeira vs Daniel Tabera
Glover Teixeira x Joaquim Mamute Ferreira
Glover Teixeira vs Buckley Acosta
Glover Teixeira vs Jorge Oliveira
Renato Ferreira x Glover Teixeira - Grappling
Glover Teixeira x Leonardo Chocolate - Grappling
Glover Teixeira vs Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou.