Now sure, many will rightfully point out that Teixeira wasn’t facing the chopping block on Saturday night, but a defeat would have been a massive, massive setback. It would have been Teixeira’s third straight defeat, and when you’re 35 years-old, a step back on the title shot road is that much bigger.
As you know, Teixeira battled back from a rough start and choked OSP out with a third round, rear-naked-choke, but did he feel extra pressure heading into the bout? Considering he was coming off consecutive losses to Phil Davis and Jon Jones? While speaking to MMA Junkie after the card, here is some of what Teixeira had to say:
“I don’t put much pressure on myself because I’m strong mentally, man,” Teixeira said. “Thing happens. I’m not fighting pushovers over there. … The pressure was to show what I’m capable of, to show the best that I can be, and not show up like I did in the last fight.
“I can make excuses for the last fight. The thing is, the weight cut was horrible. I made the weight, but if it was any other guy – I mean, I’m the kind of guy (who’s) an old-school guy and I just go out there and fight. You know, I’m a fighter. The thing is, I believe like 50 percent of some fighters wouldn’t fight in the situation I was in last fight. It was a bad feeling the whole day, recovering. It was bad. It was a bad day.”
It will be interesting to see how Teixeira looks next time he battles a high level wrestler like Davis, but he did appear to have more gas on Saturday, no question. Teixeira’s takedowns were also on point, but here again, OSP isn’t known for being a top tier wrestler.
Now Teixiera will wait to see what plays out in the title shot picture. The champ Daniel Cormier will face Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 on October 3rd, which is the same night Ryan Bader will battle fellow contender, Rashad Evans.