UFC 267: Glover Teixeira Looks to Join Randy Couture As Late-Career Champ

MMA fans love an underdog story. They especially love seeing a legend get one last shot at glory. At UFC 267 on Saturday, Glover Teixeira is set to deliver on both fronts.

The 42-year old Teixeira (32-7) finds himself in his second light heavyweight title fight, this time against Jan Blachowicz. That’s seven years and change removed from his first title bid, against Jon Jones.

Teixeira told media outlets covering UFC 267 on “Fight Island” that what has kept him going is passion. “Passion for this sport. Lately, more discipline about it, more focus on what I have to do to become a champion. Of course, it didn’t work before, so I was doing something wrong.”

When he fought the likes of Alexander Gustaffson and Anthony Johnson in the wake of the Jones loss, “I was knocking on the door, like title elimination for the belt, and I couldn’t get that title shot again.” Teixeira knew he was losing time, and turned to his coaches and the UFC PI. He also looked inward. “How much do I want this, you know?”

The biggest difference between the 2014 Teixeira and now, though, is discipline, he added. “100% discipline. Back then, I was just like a live fighter. Just go in and fight.” Although even then, Teixeira added, he would “train like a maniac, train like a dog always.”

Well aware of his status in the sport at this late stage of the game, Teixeira also acknowledged that fans love to see a veteran go out on a high. “Fans like that stuff, and I’m a fan of this sport as well, and I love when people overcome a situation, break the rules, do something not many people have done. If I win this title, who did that before? Only one guy in the UFC: Randy Couture. It’s a hard thing to do, and I’m glad that I’m here and I’m going to get it Saturday night.”

Couture, a former light heavyweight champion in the UFC, won the heavyweight title when he was 43. Glover will look to follow in his footsteps on Saturday.

Watch the full UFC 267 media day appearance from Glover Teixeira above.