Teixeira won the strap at UFC 267 in October when he dethroned Jan Blachowicz by second-round rear-naked choke. The 42-year-old UFC veteran is riding a seven-fight win streak and he’s been tasked to defend his belt against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 on June 11.
Typically a UFC champion is viewed by the masses as the best fighter on the planet in their respective weight class, regardless of promotion. However, Bellator’s Anderson thinks he’s the best light heavyweight walking around.
Anderson and 205-pound champion Vadim Nemkov fought in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix final on April 15, and “Overtime” took it to Nemkov. The fight ended after an accidental clash of heads and it was ruled a no contest.
However, before the unfortunate strike, Anderson was landing powerful strikes from half guard. Overtime had the momentum and he believes he was on his way to taking Nemkov’s belt and the $1 million grand prize.
Anderson Said His Fight With Nemkov ‘Made It Look Like I Was the Best’
Speaking with MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin after the fight, Anderson declared himself the best active light heavyweight in the world. Overtime holds a win over Teixeira as well: a unanimous decision win in July 2018.
“I am the best in the world, not just in Bellator, but the best,” Anderson said via the outlet. “I went out there and showed it. I truly felt it and believed it, and now I really, really truly believe it. I expected that fight to be a tough one, but let’s be honest. I’m not going to say it was an easy fight, but at the same time, I made it look like I was the best.
“I made it look like I was the champion. I went out there and fought and did everything I was supposed to do. Like I said, if you go out there and you’re still knocking me now, you’re just a hater.”
Teixeira Says He’s ‘Way Better Now,” Would Beat Anderson in a Rematch
During a recent installment of MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca, Glover reacted to Anderson’s comments. The UFC champion said his loss to Anderson was a “bad fight” and that he’s rooting for Overtime in Bellator.
“It’s water under the bridge,” Teixeira said via Middle Easy. “Corey went there and was better that night [in 2018]. It was a bad fight, I lost a decision, [but] it’s a fight that could have gone five or 10 rounds and he wouldn’t have knocked me out or submitted me, wouldn’t have done anything.
“I got tired and he stalled. I had no marks [on my face] when I got out. But Corey is doing a good job in Bellator. I root for him.”
But if the two ever met inside a cage again, Teixeira fully expects to beat Anderson. Although he admits Anderson has been “doing fine,” Teixeira took a jab at the fact Overtime parted ways with the UFC after his KO loss to Blachowicz in 2020.
“If we have to fight again one day, of course I’m going to win, man. I’m way better now,” Teixeira said. “I stayed in the organization and he was released, you know? He lost after that. He got knocked out by Blachowicz. He got knocked out by the man I took the belt from.
“He’s lucky he defeated me and can say it, but, man, that doesn’t bother me. I would rather watch birds sing. I won’t stress out over that, because that fight … everything is different today. That was four years ago, 2018. I’m the champion of the world now. Where was I ranked back then? He lost, had his lows here [in the UFC] and went to Bellator, but he’s doing fine now.”
Teixeira Entertains Idea of Cross-Promotion Fight With Anderson
Teixeira didn’t shy away after being asked if he would welcome a cross-promotion fight with him and Anderson. However, he understand that the fight would only happen if UFC president Dana White saw enough value out of it.
“That’s up to the promoter,” Teixeira said of a potential UFC vs. Bellator event. “Dana [White] is doing the right thing. If he sees the money, if he sees it’s worth it, he’ll definitely do it. He’s done it before and will do it again. Who am I to give my opinion to Dana White? If I was at that level, I’d be promoting my own event. [Laughs].”