UFC veteran and light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira knows who he is and what he wants.
“I’m just a happy guy with a great job,” Teixeira said. “Of course, I want to fight for the title. That’s what I’m here for. That’s why I’m still fighting. That belt is on my mind.”
But before Teixeira, 41, from Brazil, gets to take his stab at grabbing the UFC’s 205-pound title, he’ll have to defeat the top-ranked contender in the division, Thiago Santos, a popular UFC star making his long-awaited return to the Octagon against Teixeira in the main event of UFC Vegas 13 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Teixeira
Santos, 36, hasn’t fought since suffering a devastating knee injury last year in a five-round decision loss to Jon Jones at UFC 239.
Now Teixeira, who is ranked No. 3 in the division, is set to welcome his countryman back to the world of cage fighting in a contest that should help determine who gets next crack at UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.
“I’m not thinking about it too much because there are lots of rumors going around every day,” Teixeira said. “Who knows what’s going to happen next? I’m not paying attention too much to that stuff. I’m just focused on the fight and enjoying the time that I’m having right now.”
Those rumors, of course, are that UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya intends on jumping the line to face Blachowicz next year in hopes of becoming the fifth UFC “champ champ” in history.
Well, they’re technically more than rumors at this point. After all, UFC president Dana White revealed on Saturday that the company fully intends on making that fight happen next.
Still, Teixeira knows that sometimes even the UFC’s best-laid plans don’t work out.
So just like Santos, who told Heavy virtually the same thing about his approach to this weekend’s important 205-pound battle, Teixeira said he’s only focused right now on the task at hand.
“I can’t control what’s going to come next. I’m just not thinking about those things,” Teixeira said.
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‘Not Much of a Secret’ to Teixeira’s Winning Streak
Teixeira enters his battle against Santos on a four-fight win streak.
So at an age when most fighters start stringing losses together and start thinking about their retirement plans, Teixeira just seems to find ways to win night after night.
Still, Teixeira said he didn’t have any big secret to share about how he’s able to do such a thing.
Instead, Teixeira said the last few years of his life have been a case of the fighter doing all the things he knows he should do and avoiding all the things he knows he shouldn’t do.
“Training hard and disciplining myself. It’s not much of a secret,” Teixeira said.
Sage Advice From UFC Star
Still, there’s something special about the way Teixeira seems so adept at turning fights around in the blink of an eye.
There’s no better evidence than his last fight against Anthony Smith.
One minute, the younger Smith seemed on his way to trouncing Teixeira. The next? Teixeira is literally apologizing for the gruesome beatdown he’s suddenly putting on his bloodied opponent down below him.
“I think maybe because of my age,” Teixeira mused. “I think they think they can just take me out quickly. They come with the storm.”
But here the Brazilian offers sage advice to anyone who might listen to him. Whether you’re taking a beating in a fight for the biggest and best MMA promotional company in the world or just having a bad day somewhere else, sometimes life is just about making little adjustments to whatever is right in front of you.
“I see the punches. I roll with the punches…” Teixeria said. “You just have to readjust when the storm is coming. You have to find a way out.”
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