Accepting that the UFC’s matchmaking is out of his control, Glover Teixeira says he’ll watch the proposed Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz title fight.
Glover Teixeira is, not surprisingly, very happy to finally be at Fight Week for his bout with Thiago Santos. It’s a fight that was pushed back twice, with both men dealing with bouts of COVID-19.
That’s not an easy adjustment for a fighter who is a little older than most. “My grandfather says I’m real young!” joked the 41-year old Brazilian light heavyweight during this week’s UFC Vegas 13 media day. But he noted that the “UFC is at a different level now” with the help they provide to athletes, pointing to the UFC Performance Institute as an example. Which makes it a little easier for him to prepare.
In the meantime, talk has switched from Teixeira’s fight with Santos as a number one contender’s bout, to the fight being robbed of that status thanks to Israel Adesanya. “The Last Stylebender” has been granted the next title fight at 205lbs, against newly crowned champ Jan Blachowicz.
Teixeira has tried to put thoughts of the lost title opportunity to the side. “I’m focused on the things I can control, focused on the present moment right now,” he said. “It’s not in my control. As a fan I’m going to watch the fight, Adesanya versus Blachowicz, but it’s not something in my control.”
He also believes, as does opponent Santos, that a big showing Saturday could put him right back in the conversation. Teixeira is, after all, riding a four-fight win streak. He’s looked the best he has since his first title fight years ago, against Jon Jones.
“Everything’s possible, so we’ve got to focus on the fight, and with the title fight, we’ll see what happens,” said Teixeira. “With a great performance, I could be right there in a title challenge.”
First, he has to take out the rugged, powerful Santos, who is returning to the octagon after over a year away. The key to that, explained Teixeira, is to “not play around with this guy, keep the pressure on him, and finish this fight.”
If Teixeira doesn’t get the title shot with a win Saturday, he is open to serving as a back-up for Adesanya vs. Blachowicz. “Why not? If they pay me, I’ll go over there, make the weight for sure.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 13 virtual media day press scrum with Glover Teixeira above. The card takes place Saturday, November 7 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.