Things worked out A-OK for Glover Teixeira in the end.
The Brazilian will get the next title shot at light heavyweight following Saturday’s lackluster split draw between UFC 282 headliners Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
UFC president Dana White branded the fight ‘terrible’ and announced the next title shot would go to Teixeira, who will take on Jamahal Hill for the vacant light heavyweight championship in his home country Brazil.
Not bad for a man who turned down a title fight with Ankalaev. But the universe tends to work in strange ways.
“I keep saying this to everybody: People stress for no reason,” Teixeira told MMA Underground’s John Morgan in a recent interview (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “Everybody asks me if I got mad. Of course I got upset on the day that I found out I’m not going to fight for the title, but I said, ‘I’m not going to let this bother me. Let’s live life. I’m healthy, I’m happy, life is great. I’m fighting for the belt [against] one of the winners.’ Because that’s the thing, I deserve to be here. I work my ass off, I fight my ass off, and here I am. Let the universe take care of things and do the right thing. Keep focused on your goal and the universe will take care of the rest.”
“In my mind I was thinking the whole time, ‘This fight, turn around quick. The UFC needs a main event in Brazil. They might get one of those guys to fight in Brazil,’” he added. “Nobody said anything, but I was thinking that. But then it comes to the third round when Ankalaev had both legs hurt and Jan had a cut over his eye and I was like, ‘Okay, I guess Brazil is not going to happen.’ Then when I see Ankalaev winning the fight, I said, ‘Well, he’s going to win but it’s not going to be in Brazil.’ Then the craziness happens, that decision that nobody understood. But hey, like I said, let the universe take care of things. Glover, you’re fighting in Brazil. Let’s go!...”
Teixeira will look to reclaim the title he lost to now-former UFC light heavyweight champion Jiří Procházka this past June, with the 43-year-old MMA veteran excited for the fresh challenge Hall presents.
“He’s an incredible guy. Tough, tough opponent. Very good fighter,” Teixeira said of Black Lion BJJ’s Hall, who is on a three-fight UFC win streak and ranked #7 at light heavyweight. “I’m just excited to be training for this, training to get the belt back, prove I’m the best in the world. That’s what I’m here for. I’m very excited. I just want to go out there and fight the best. I wish we had a winner in this fight, but let’s go. Vacant title is still on the line, and that’s it. You can’t take something from a man when he earns it. The vacant title was my shot. [Now] I’ve got to do the work. The universe did it, now I’ve got to do my part and train my ass off and take the belt and make history.”
UFC 283, which is expected to feature Teixeira vs. Hall as the main event, is scheduled to take place on Jan. 21, 2023, at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.