At 42-years-old, Glover Teixeira knows his time in the Octagon is limited, but the Brazilian doesn’t want to retire just yet.
The reigning UFC light heavyweight champion walked back previous comments about wanting to retire after getting two title defenses under his belt where he revealed his “perfect plan” of retiring after defeating Jiri Prochazka and Jan Blachowicz in back-to-back fights.
Although Teixeira admits that that is still his go-to plan, the UFC veteran says retirement is the last thing on his mind right now.
“Listen, I didn’t say that for sure,” Teixeira said during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting). “If there’s a perfect [plan], it would be that if I win this fight – of course I am confident, but the thing is when you guys ask me a question way before I get into camp, it’s almost like, maybe I’ll fight one more time. But when I’m camp right now, I’m a lion. You’ve got to come see my training. Then you’ll see, and you’re probably not even going to ask that question about retirement. Because the way I’ve been training, the way I’ve been feeling, the way camp is going lately, I’m so happy about everything.
“Eventually, I do want to retire. I said the perfect scenario is me beating this guy in Singapore and hopefully fight Jan [Blachowicz] at Madison Square Garden in November and then call it a day. But I don’t want to make a decision like that. I think that’s a possibility, but I don’t want to [say], ‘Oh I’m going to retire this year, or a couple more fights,’ or this and that.”
The reason Teixeira is so hesitant to make a definitive statement on retirement is that he doesn’t want to retire only to change his mind a couple of years later, like former UFC two-division champ and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo.
“I don’t want to make a call and be desperate later,” Teixeira said. “I even mentioned Henry Cejudo. Nothing against the guy, I love the kid, but you see him retired [and] he knows he wants to come back. He knows he has more. I don’t want to make this decision like that, but it would be a possibility, yeah.”
Teixeira wants to follow in the footsteps of Khabib Nurmagomedov and retire on top rather than have the sport retire him.
“I love the fight, I love the game,” Teixeira said. “I love the camp life to be preparing for a fight, but I’m also 42 going on 43. It’s time to start thinking about it. I want to retire from the sport, I don’t want the sport to retire me.
“You see Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I take my hat off to Khabib when he retired on top. There’s no motivation by money. He’s making $10, $20 million, they offer him so much money, but he’s not going back. He’s done. He doesn’t want to do it anymore. That’s going to be me. The day that I don’t want to do it anymore [I will retire]. The day that I don’t want to get myself going is the time that I’m going to be done.”
Teixeira will return to the Octagon to defend his light heavyweight title against No. 2-ranked LHW Jiri Prochazka at the upcoming UFC 275 PPV on June 11 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.