UFC 283: Glover Teixeira Reveals the Secret to His Success at Age 43

There was a point where it felt like Glover Teixeira would not fight at home in Brazil again.

It has been almost three years since the UFC set up shop in Brazil, but that all changes this week. Saturday brings about UFC 283, where Teixeira (33-8) will face Jamahal Hill for the promotion’s vacant light heavyweight title.

A year ago, it was Teixeira holding the belt. Then came June’s UFC 275, where Teixeira won the better part of five rounds only to be submitted late by Jiri Prochazka.

A roller coaster ride full of twists and turns then kicked off: Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2 was booked for UFC 282 in December. Prochazka fell to injury and relinquished his title. Teixeira declined a short-notice replacement in Magomed Ankalaev. Ankalaev instead faced Jan Blachowicz — and fought to a draw.

The light heavyweight title remained vacant. Fans weren’t the only ones surprised by this turn of events, which led to Teixeira vs. Hill being booked for this weekend.

“I was surprised for like the last two months. I was very surprised with everything that happened,” Teixeira admitted during the UFC 283 media day on Wednesday. “But hey, we started working in like August, I started talking about like ‘hey let’s fight in Rio, Jiri’ and Jiri [Prochazka] didn’t want to fight here. And all this stuff happens, and here we are. Here we are with Jamahal Hill now, and let’s get it.”

Hill, believes Teixeira, is a dangerous fighter who deserves his spot on the card. “Jamahal Hill is up there. He’s a very dangerous fighter, very good fighter. If you think about it, between Ankalaev, Jan, and Jiri’s out, he’s the next guy.”

Entering the fight with Hill at age 43, Teixeira is an elder statesman of the sport, and has surprised many with his late-career resurgence. He revealed the secret to his success ahead of his latest shot at gold.

Compared to his last fight in Rio, “I’m a different fighter now. The discipline is 100%, man,” said Teixeira. “I remember when I fought Phil Davis [in Rio in 2014], the way my life was. I don’t know. I wouldn’t say ‘take this serious’ because I always take the fights seriously, but I was just like in that mode — train hard, fight hard, party hard. And now I take the party out of the way, and that’s why I’m here at 43, fighting at the top level.”

And there you have it: no more partying, young fighters.

In his own younger years, Teixeira looked up to the fighters that were sitting where he finds himself these days.

“I always looked up to fighters like Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, fighting at an older age. Now I’m here, man, fighting at the highest level, bringing the best fight of the year, getting the belt at 42. And hopefully getting the belt again at 43-years old and making history. I love to be a motivator for the young guys, for sure.”

Watch the full UFC 283 media day appearance by Glover Teixeira above.