Glover Teixeira is the second oldest champion in UFC history, behind the legendary Randy Couture.
To give a better perspective on the importance of this, the Pittsburgh Pirates He won the 1979 World Series 11 days before Teixeira was born on October 28, 1979. The Pirates have basically become the laughing stock of MLB and have lost over 100 games in each of the past two seasons.
Despite this, Teixeira is still as good at his sport as the Pirates in 1979. Saturday at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the main event UFC 283Teixeira will meet Jamal Hill for the vacant Light Heavyweight Championship.
If he defeated Hill, he would become champion for the second time at 43 years, 2 months, 25 days. Couture was 44 years, 2 months, 3 days old when he defended his heavyweight title against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74 on August 25, 2007. Couture did not fight for the next 13 months and was 45 years, 4 months and 25 days old When he lost the belt to Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on November 15, 2008, in Las Vegas.
Given the physical demands of an MMA athlete, Couture’s accomplishment was mind-boggling and was thought of as one of those signs that would never be touched.
However, Teixeira would only be a year and two months behind Couture if he defeated Hill. It’s an impressive feat and leaves open the possibility that Teixeira could surpass Couture’s seemingly indomitable record.
He said the secret is simple.
“I’m just having fun, man,” Teixeira said. “I’m just having fun. I’m just enjoying my life. I don’t know. People ask me the same question a lot, and I don’t know how to answer. I have a love for the sport. I value my life. I have help that allows me to do what I love to do. I go to work happily and gratefully all the time.”
“I don’t want to be lazy and sit at home and that. I just want to do my best and give that. I want to motivate people, motivate kids, motivate older fighters. I’m motivating all kinds of people now, so that’s the goal.”
Hill is a fearsome scorer who is 11-1 with seven knockouts. He has a streak of three straight wins by KO, and his last four victories have all come by KO or TKO.
However, Teixeira has proven he can take it. At UFC 275 against Jiri Prochazka, Teixeira appeared to be in trouble several times. Prochazka is a terrifying scorer and he entered that bout on June 11 in Singapore with a record of 27-3 and 25 knockouts. He throws blows – powerful – from every angle with every limb on his body.
Prochazka submitted Teixeira in the last minute with a rear naked choke to get his third win by submission and take the title from Teixeira, but Teixeira was able to absorb all the blows and continue the fight.
He had Prochazka nearly out but couldn’t get the job done.
Now, he has to try and do it against Hill to keep his dream of regaining the belt alive, as well as getting close to the record for the oldest fighter to win a UFC title match.
It wouldn’t be fancy, but Teixeira knows how to weather adversity and put pressure on his opponent. He won’t talk about a big match much, but he will definitely fight.
“My style is grinding,” Teixeira said. “Keep on, keep pushing the guy, keep pushing him into deep water and see what he’s got. I’ve got heavy hands too. I’m a guy who goes out there to put on a show. I want to fight and I want to put on a show on the night. I won a lot of performance of the night.” [bonuses]a lot of fight of the night [bonuses].
“It’s going to be that kind of fight, for sure. I want to put in a good performance. I’m not a guy who walks in and talks a lot and promotes a fight a lot.” [that way]. I don’t like when a guy promotes fights a lot, and they don’t show up in the octagon. If you try to promote the fight [by talking] And you come and you come, that’s a beautiful thing. This is not my style. It’s not my personality, but at least I bring up the fight.”
He has brought the fight again and again in a stellar career that has landed him in the Hall of Fame. If he wins on Saturday and holds off to win another title or two, he might as well put his name in the history books.
This is never a bad thing.