Glover Teixeira is not one to make excuses, and the Brazilian standout gave Alexander full credit for his dominant win at UFC Fight Night 109, but the 37-year-old was notably impaired after sustaining a nasty eye poke in the first round.
According to Teixeira, a former UFC light heavyweight title challenger, he was seeing 'three' Gustafssons after the eye poke and thought he would be given more time to recover by the referee.
"If I tell you that that didn’t disturb me, that’s a lie,” Teixeira told MMA Fighting shortly after his TKO loss to Gustafsson. "Everybody knows, a fighter or not, that getting poked in the eye like that, it was strong, so that disturbed me. But if I had gotten knocked out right after that, I’d definitely blame it. I went back in there without seeing anything. I was seeing three Gustafssons. It was all blurry, but I thought I’d have five minutes (to recover).
"I don’t know if you saw this, but I told the (referee) ‘of course I’ll come back to fight, but I need a time to, I don’t know, rub my eyes, wait to recover’. But he said ‘you get no time, you get no time. Or you’re good to come back or you’re not.’”
Veteran referee Marc Goddard, who officiated Sunday afternoon's main event, clarified that fighters are only able to take an extended time-out if they have suffered a groin strike. Goddard states that, according to the official rules, fighters are not allowed five minutes of recovery time for an eye poke.
To clarify and help, many have asked. With fouls fighters CANNOT receive 5 minutes of recovery, expect the groin strike.— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) May 28, 2017
Once Dr makes call there's no injury the fighter must continue or it's over. Thanks again.— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) May 28, 2017
Teixeira was dominated for most of the contest and was always one or two steps behind 'The Mauler', eating several strikes before succumbing to a barrage of uppercuts and a right hand in the fifth and final round.
Teixeira acknowledged the speed difference and congratulated Gustaffson for the win.
"Regardless, I think that, the way he was fighting, the speed… he was better, I couldn’t find him,” he said. "After my eye got better, I couldn’t find him. The result would really have been the same. Maybe not the knockout, a closer fight, but the result would have been the same.
"Congratulations to Gustafsson. He fought me in the best shape of my life, no injuries whatsoever. I have no excuses."
Teixeira, who is still ranked as the No. 2 light heavyweight contender in the world, is likely to slip down the rankings and has a mountain to climb before he is considered for another title shot.