- Glover Teixeira is thrilled to have earned a crack at the UFC light heavyweight strap
- The Brazilian vows to work on his game and make history in his hometown
In a wild twist of fate, former UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira finds himself in a very familiar situation. Following the underwhelming split draw between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant light heavyweight strap at UFC 282, Dana White quickly decided that Teixeira will compete for the belt against Jamahal Hill in Brazil for UFC 283.
Good things happen to those who wait
Speaking to MMA Underground, Teixeira zealously said he was just talking about how he was okay despite being disappointed by not getting the title shot while at the recent World MMA Awards. And now, he’s already coming home to fight for the belt he once held.
“I keep saying this to everybody: People stress for no reason,” Teixeira told MMA Underground. “Everybody asks me if I got mad. Of course I got upset on the day that I found out I’m not going to fight for the title, but I said, ‘I’m not going to let this bother me. Let’s live life. I’m healthy, I’m happy, life is great. I’m fighting for the belt [against] one of the winners.’ Because that’s the thing, I deserve to be here. I work my ass off, I fight my ass off, and here I am. Let the universe take care of things and do the right thing. Keep focused on your goal and the universe will take care of the rest.”
It was a hard yes!
Teixeira also revealed how he reacted to the shocking and controversial split draw of Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev. More importantly, how he responded after the UFC’s abrupt decision to make him the other half of the vacant light heavyweight title fight happening in his hometown, Brazil.
“In my mind I was thinking the whole time, ‘This fight, [needs to] turn around quick. The UFC needs a main event in Brazil. They might get one of those guys to fight in Brazil’… But then it comes to the third round when Ankalaev had both legs hurt and Jan had a cut over his eye and I was like, ‘Okay, I guess Brazil is not going to happen’,” Teixeira revealed. “Then when I see Ankalaev winning the fight, I said, ‘Well, he’s going to win but it’s not going to be in Brazil.’ Then the craziness happens, that decision that nobody understood. But hey, like I said, let the universe take care of things. Glover, you’re fighting in Brazil. Let’s go! They just called me backstage, I got there and talked to Hunter and Mickey and they asked me and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ Before they said the opponent. They said, ‘You want to fight in Brazil for the belt?’ I said, ‘Let’s go! Whoever.’”
Just gotta deliver
While everything seems to be going well for Teixeira, it has to be taken into account that he’s not facing a nobody at UFC 283. Hill is currently the No. 7 contender in the 205-pound division and has been unbeaten in his last three trips to the Octagon.
Teixeira acknowledges the abilities of “Sweet Dreams” but he is more concerned about working on his game and not wasting the chance given to him.
“He’s an incredible guy. Tough, tough opponent. Very good fighter,” Teixeira said of Hill. “I’m just excited to be training for this, training to get the belt back, prove I’m the best in the world. That’s what I’m here for. I’m very excited. I just want to go out there and fight the best. I wish we had a winner in this fight, but let’s go. Vacant title is still on the line, and that’s it. You can’t take something from a man when he earns it. The vacant title was my shot. [Now] I’ve got to do the work. The universe did it, now I’ve got to do my part and train my ass off and take the belt and make history.”
— glover teixeira (@gloverteixeira) July 3, 2022
Teixeira lost his belt to Jiri Prochazka, who later vacated the title due to injury, at UFC 275 via late submission. Hill, meanwhile, has finished all his last three opponents, two of which came via first-round knockout.
UFC 283 will take place on January 21, 2023 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.