Glover Teixeira is excited to be fighting for UFC gold at home in Brazil.
Teixeira was supposed to rematch Jiri Prochazka for the light heavyweight title at UFC 282 but Prochazka suffered a serious shoulder injury and he withdrew from the bout and vacated the strap. The promotion then booked Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant title, which left Teixeira in limbo.
Yet, on Saturday at UFC 282, Blachowicz and Ankalaev fought to a draw and the UFC quickly pivoted to make Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill at UFC 283 in Brazil for the vacant belt.
“I keep saying this to everybody, (but) people stress for no reason,” Teixeira told MMA Underground. “People ask me if I got mad. Of course, I got upset on the day that I found out I was 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 just do the right thing. Keep focused on your goal, and the universe will take care of the rest.”
“In my mind, I was thinking the whole time, ‘This fight, turn around quick. The UFC needs a main event in Brazil. They might get one of those guys to fight in Brazil.’ Nobody said anything, but I was thinking that. But then it comes to the third round when Ankalaev had both legs hurt and Jan had a cut over his eye and I’m like, ‘OK, I guess Brazil is not going to happen.’”
“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,” Glover Teixeira added.
Jamahal Hill Next Up
With Glover Teixeira now getting the title shot, the focus turns to preparing for Jamahal Hill in four weeks. He knows the up-and-coming prospect is a tough out for anyone but he believes he has all the tools to beat Hill and become the champ again.
“(Hill is) an incredible guy. Tough, tough opponent. Very good fighter,” Teixeira said. “I’m just excited to be training for this, training to get the belt back, prove that 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.”
[The] 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 continued.
What is your prediction for Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill?