When the UFC puts on its second show in Jacksonville, Florida in the span of just five days, it will be light heavyweight Glover Teixeira topping the card.
The Brazilian, a former title challenger in the 205lb weight class, looks to make it four wins in a row against Anthony Smith on Wednesday night. An impressive late-career run for the 40-year old.
If you know anything about Teixeira, you probably know he’s a big “Iron” Mike Tyson fan. And so, during Monday’s UFC Jacksonville virtual media call, Cageside Press asked Teixeira about rumors of Tyson’s return. There’s been talk of an exhibition bout, and an offer from Bare Knuckle promotion BKFC.
“He’s a legend. Everybody’s going to watch that fight,” Teixeira opined. “I hope that he comes for an exhibition fight. Four rounds would be good. I wouldn’t want to see Mike Tyson with young guys anymore. But definitely guys his age, maybe Holyfield. Who knows. I’d like to see that fight.”
Tyson faced Holyfield twice during his career, in 1996 and 1997. He was TKO’d in the pair’s first meeting, then disqualified for biting in the second. Notoriously, he took a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear.
“That’s one of the fights, I watch that fight every time before I fight,” said Teixeira, without specifying which of the two. “I watch Tyson fights, Tyson highlights pretty much every fight. But Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson was one of my favorites.”
Of course, Teixeira has his own fight to look forward to. It’s been something of a ride getting to this point, as it has been for nearly every fighter this week. The pair were originally scheduled to headline UFC Lincoln in April.
“The fight was rescheduled, but you’ve just got to think positive,” he told us. “The camp was amazing. We’re going through crazy times, I’m just trying to keep positive things in my head.”
As to whether a win over Smith would put him within reach of the title, Teixeira suggested that “Anthony Smith is there with the top few guys like Thiago Marreta [Santos] and Dominick Reyes. Definitely if I beat him, I’ll be right there. Knocking on the door again.”
The UFC Jacksonville card will be the second, following UFC 249, to take place in the empty Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. “It’s exciting, it’s a new thing. Just got to enjoy the journey and embrace the challenge,” Teixeira said of the empty arena format. “It’s a challenge for all of us, fighting with no fans in the arena. We love the fans.”
He admits, however, that it’s also a little odd. “It’s like a Guns N’ Roses show with no people there. It’s kind of weird, but you’ve just got to embrace the challenge, go over there, and do our max.”
Watch the full UFC Jacksonville media day scrum with Glover Teixeira above!