It wasn’t that long ago when UFC marketers and Glover Teixeira boosters, were busy explaining why the light-heavyweight was a massive challenge to the reign of Jon Jones (who had been severely tested by Alexander Gustafssson at UFC 165). After all, Teixeira was riding a 20 fight win streak heading into the bout, which included pivotal victories over James Te Huna, “Rampage” Jackson and Ryan Bader.
Teixeira’s title run was not meant to be, however, as the fighter was hurt early on in his bout with Jones, and was outscored throughout the fight for the unanimous decision loss.
That was back in April, and now Teixeira is set to return versus Phil Davis at UFC 179 on October 25th. While speaking to the media recently in Brazil, the 34 year-old made it clear that he’s as focused as ever on securing the UFC’s light-heavyweight belt (quotes via MMA Fighting.com).
“I lost the fight, and as soon as I got out (of the Octagon) I knew I had to change a few things in my camp,” Teixeira said while discussing the changes he’s made following his loss to Jones. “I’m in there to have fun, win or lose. I will go back to my roots, respect my body and train what I always trained without focusing on what my opponent does instead of worrying about what I have to do.”
“Phil Davis is at the top for a long time, he’s a tough guy, so he’s another step in the division,” Teixeira furthered. “I don’t think about Davis, (Daniel) Cormier or other top fighters. I want to fight and beat a top opponent, then fight another top opponent, and then fight for the belt again. This time, I will get that f—ing belt.”
How about that? Sounds like the punishing fighter’s confidence hasn’t been set back at all by the loss to Jones. Case in point, Teixeira went on to claim that his bout with Davis “won’t be a close fight”. The Brazilian did say, however, that the latter has better “takedown combinations” than Jones…
It’s certainly a huge fight for both men, as Teixeira is ranked #4 and Davis is currently positioned at #6, following his decision loss to Anthony Johnson in April. In other words, whoever wins will remain within striking distance of a title shot, while the loser will have lost two in a row and could slip in the rankings.
Prior to facing Johnson, Davis earned a tightly contested, unanimous decision win over Lyoto Machida last August. The decorated wrestler is 3-1, with 1 no contest, is his last 5 scraps.
UFC 179 will go down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will feature a featherweight bout between champion Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.