The last three years have seen former UFC light heavyweight title contender Glover Teixeira alternate between wins and losses. He now plans on going on a winning streak and being back in the title mix, starting with a win over Ion Cutelaba.
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Teixeira (28-7) will look to build momentum following his quick submission win over Karl Roberson back in January when he takes on Cutelaba (14-3-0-1) at UFC on ESPN 3 which takes place April 27 at Sunrise, Florida.
No Shogun offer
A mainstay in the light heavyweight top 10, Teixeira now finds himself ranked #11 and originally wanted to fight someone else in the top 15.
His original choice was former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, currently ranked #14, who he called out following his win over Roberson.
However, the UFC offered him the unranked Cutelaba instead.
“You know, we waited a little bit to see if there’s any answer back [about a Shogun fight] but I got nothing back,” Teixeira told The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko. “I moved on and they offered me Cutelaba for this month and I have no injury, I feel good, [so] let’s go.”
Never declining an opponent
Ideally, a ranked opponent would have helped the Brazilian climb up the rankings and slowly get back into title contention.
However, Teixeira is not one to say no when he’s offered an opponent.
“I don’t pick opponents, I like to fight someone in the rankings because it’s good for me. I was a top 10 for as long as I’ve been in the UFC pretty much. I want to get back in there and stay in the mix again.”
“So of course, I want someone in the rankings but they offered me Cutelaba. I never say no to an opponent, they offer me and I fight.”
Equalling Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz
Seven of Teixeira’s last eight wins have come by knockout or submission, and a potential finish against Cutelaba would see the Sobralia native tie former champions Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz for most finishes at light heavyweight with 10.
To equal such a record would mean a lot for Teixeira, who prides himself on his finishing.
“It means a lot. It’s amazing, breaking records. Like I said, when I came to the UFC, I wanted to be an exciting fighter. See this guy [Mike Tyson] at the back? I always idolized him as a fighter, not because he’s the greatest of all time, though I believe that he is, but because of the style that he brings to the ring. He finishes fights.”
“You don’t go over there and be like, ‘oh, Glover Teixeira is coming, we’re going to see another three or five round fight.’ No. Hey man, Glover Teixeira is coming and you know he’s going to go after the finish, don’t blink because I’m right there in your face and every time I step into the Octagon, I come and finish the fight. And that’s why I think I have a good respect from the fans, everyone loves my style. I do this for the fans, I love to watch finishes, I love to watch guys that go after it like Robbie Lawler, Edson Barboza.”
You can watch the rest of the interview below: