Glover Teixeira has been in the game for almost fifteen years and has beaten some of the best competitors in the light heavyweight division, but a UFC world title has always eluded him.
The Brazilian joined MMA’s premiere promotion in 2012, making a statement in his debut by finishing Kyle Kingsbury with an arm-triangle choke in the first round. Two years and four wins later, Teixeira was standing across the Octagon from then-champion Jon Jones at UFC 172.
The 37-year-old lost a gruelling decision, finding himself outworked by Jones’ dirty boxing in the clinch and unable to establish his range. He then dropped a decision to wrestling powerhouse Phil Davis, losing two back-to-back fights for the first time in his career.
Teixeira rebounded with three straight stoppages over Ovince Saint Preux, Patrick Cummins, and Rashad Evans, and looked to be knocking on the door for another title shot. When the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt met Anthony Rumble Johnson in a number one contender’s bout at UFC 202, however, things went terribly wrong.
Teixeira was knocked out by a crushing uppercut just thirteen seconds into the opening round, suffering the worst loss and setback of his career.
The MMA veteran is over it, though, and is focused on re-establishing himself as a legitimate contender.
"It was quick, so you can’t know for sure,” Teixeira said the 13-second loss to Johnson, per Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. "It was a punch that landed, and it happens. It happened to me. It sucks, but I can’t mourn about it. It’s gone, let’s move on now.”
"I have to fight and show what I’m capable of doing,” Teixeira said. "People lose hope when you lose a fight. When I lost two in a row (against Jon Jones and Phil Davis), they lost hope. People said ‘Glover is done,’ but I came back and won three straight and everybody started talking about the belt again.
Teixeira wants to avenge both losses to Johnson and Jones and achieve his lifelong dream of attaining a UFC title.
"I have to stay focused and keep fighting and keep winning. I want to fight Anthony Johnson again, for sure. I want to fight Jon Jones again. I want to fight the guys that beat me, those who are at the top. My dream is to fight for the belt and win this belt."
Teixeira will look to take the first step to re-climbing the LHW ladder when he takes on Jared Cannonier at UFC 208. The pay-per-view takes place later tonight, Feb. 11, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.