Brazilian light heavyweight Glover Teixeira has been a professional mixed martial artist since debuting almost 11 years ago, in June 2002. Amassing a 21-2 record over that time period, Teixeira only recently made his UFC debut in 2012 at UFC 146, submitting Kyle Kingsbury, but he already has a title shot within his sights.
Over that 10-year period, Teixeira became an enigma of sorts. Fighting sporadically over the early years of his career, the Brazilian brawler earned a devilish reputation for his work inside the cage.
Trained out of the legendary Pit Fight Team in Arroyo Grande, Calif., under famed trainer John Hackleman, Teixera has long been a fighter to watch for many of the diehard MMA fans all across the globe.
Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, with one win being an impressive dismantling of former division champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Teixeira is set to square off with Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 28 on Sept. 4 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
According to UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik, who was handling UFC 163 post-fight press conference duties in lieu of the absence of company president Dana White, if Glover can get past Bader in September, he is likely next in line for a light heavyweight title shot. Current champion Jon Jones faces his next challenger, Alexander Gustafsson, at UFC 165 on Sept. 21 in Toronto.
“Dana and Joe have confirmed, with a strong victory by Glover, then he probably gets the winner of the Jon Jones fight,” said Zelaznik. “Glover’s got an opportunity to go for that belt with a big win, so we’re expecting big things in Belo Horizonte.”
There’s a lot on the line for the massive Brazilian if he can get past the former Arizona State All-American on Sept. 4. Bader, however, is 3-1 in his last four outings, with a victory of his own over Rampage, and there is no doubt that the American will not be too pleased at potentially being viewed as an afterthought.
But this announcement sure did make that main event in early September all the more compelling.
(Follow @RyanMcKinnell on Twitter)