Glover Teixeira finally became the UFC’s light heavyweight champion last October at UFC 267 with an upset victory over Jan Blachowicz. The victory set him apart in the sport’s history as the oldest champion ever at 42 years old. By the time he touches gloves with Jiří Procházka next June in Singapore at UFC 275, Teixeira will be a fresh 43 years old.
Riding a seven-fight winning streak, Teixeira (33-7-0) is looking forward to the contest with Procházka (28-3-1). He recently sat down with Ryan Jarrell to talk life, reflect back on his title fight, and preview his upcoming defense.
Reflecting On What It Meant to Become Champion
“Your whole dream when you start fighting is to become [a] UFC champion. I see a bunch of amateur fights, amateur fighters, kids that are training and they want to be a UFC champion, Bellator champion – mostly UFC champion. It’s like the whole thing, I knew it was coming soon because I knew how good I was and I knew I would become a champion, but the ups and downs make you doubt it sometimes. But the one who stays in and takes the storm is going to go through it.”
Dissecting the UFC 267 Title Fight vs Jan Blachowicz
“The plan was to work what’s easier. I hit him with some good shots in the second round, almost knocked him out…. He was too open, and a lot of those guys, they come in too much in the striking. They forget about the grappling and they make it… I’m not saying easy, but they forget about it. They forget about it, and that’s all we work on. Get that wrestling done, get that jiu-jitsu going, because now they’ve gotta worry about the grappling and now their hands stop working.”
Did Any of Blachowicz’s Punches Hurt Teixeira?
“No, the shots were just kinda going through. My face was clean after the fight.”
The Big Left Hook That Sealed It
“I mean, I got him with a good shot and I knew that in the second round he was too worried about getting taken down. That moment, I thought an opportunity to knock him out but he started defending good, started throwing hard shots, and I went for the takedown again.”
What’s It Like Preparing to Fight in Abu Dhabi?
“It’s hard but I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been doing this forever, and we’ve just gotta go a little early when it’s a big flight, a big time difference like that, I go a little early like two weeks before…” “The experience that I have is going help me in those long flights.”
Teixeira Felt the Championship Energy All Week Leading Into UFC 267
“Yeah, I felt the energy from everybody. As soon as I got to the hotel, the kids and the people that were there, the people that were at the coffee [shop], I could feel them. They just started calling me ‘champ’ right away. ‘Hey, what’s up champ’, and I was like ‘Alright man, that’s it. The champion already. I feel like a champion’.
I even told my coach, ‘No matter what happens tomorrow, I’ve been a champion for a week already’. It was good, it was a good vibe, the whole time was an incredible vibe.”
Teixeira On Life Since Winning
“It’s great. We got right back to work. I love this, this. I love to work and now I’m teaching some fighters, some amateur fighters, we’ve got some pro fighters. I keep doing what I love to do and keep passing it on. The gym has been packed, it’s been great. It’s been amazing.”
Glover Teixeira On His Journey to Becoming Champion
“I have guy who told me a while back. He told me ‘Glover, I know when you get your green card,’ this was in 2010. He said, ‘I know when you get your green card, in about a year you’ll be top-five in the UFC.’ He said, ‘Champion is different. You’ve gotta get in there, gotta get the title shot. But I know that the way you fight, the way you train, you’re gonna be there in one year.’
In less than a year, I got called to fight with Jon Jones. That’s when I fought with Ryan Bader, knocked him out, and I got called to fight Jon Jones.”
How Teixeira is Preparing for Jiří Procházka
“I prepare much like what I’m going to do and I don’t look much at what the guy can do. I’m just going to have to be smarter than him and take away his weapon. It’s very difficult to simulate, and I never really did bring in anyone to simulate my opponents ever. Some guys are easier to fight because they have a style. For example, Blachovitz is an orthodox style, but [Yuri] is just different.
I’ve just gotta work my style and know that my style is going to beat theirs. It’s cool. It’s like Street Fighter or Bloodsport – which style is going to beat the other style? I’m just going with my style and trying to avoid some of the spinning elbows, but on the ground, there’s not many tricks you can do.”
Teixeira On Being the Underdog at UFC 275 As Defending Champion
“Because of the age, no. Everybody’s going to do that. We’re still making money. We’re still making money because we’ve got the boys betting on myself and every time we’re winning a big chunk of money. I’ve been the underdog for the last six fights. I don’t want it to change!”
Glover Teixeira’s Predicition for UFC 275
“I’m just going over there to do my job. I’m prepared to go five rounds of battle, but I see myself beating this guy in probably the later third round or fourth round with a finish, either knockout or submission.”
Is Glover Teixeira Retiring After UFC 275?
“Right now I’m keeping it going. I’m going to keep training. I feel good training, I feel good fighting. I love it. We’ll just kinda keep it going.”
Watch UFC 275: Teixeira vs Procházka
- When: Saturday, June 11, 2022
- Location: Singapore Indoor Stadium
- How to Watch: ESPN+ PPV