It was at UFC 267 where Glover Teixeira finally earned that for which he was working so hard during the last decade. He took on Jan Blachowicz during the fight night’s main event; and, after 9 years and 21 fights in the UFC, he finally got his light heavyweight title… At the age of 42!
Teixeira first went in for an early takedown, during the opening minutes of the fight. He placed Blachowicz onto the canvas and pinned him down there for the rest of the round, remaining in comfortable control throughout.
Then, when the second round came, he went on to further solidify his dominance in the cage. He first landed a huge left hook that rocked his opponent, which enabled Teixeira to end up on top of him yet again. From there, he worked on setting up a submission, which he ultimately succeeded in – getting a choke with Blachowicz being belly down and tapping out rather quickly.
Now, Glover Teixeira is finally a world champion.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 30, 2021
After the fight, he gave an emotional interview, emphasizing that if you have a goal… You need to stay persistent and keep going, no matter what other people say. That way, eventually you’ll achieve that which you’ve set out to achieve.
“Never give up on your dreams. Believe in yourself, keep going forward.”
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 30, 2021
There are BJJ figters turned MMA fighters such as Jose Aldo who always use the gi as part of their MMA training , and there are those who give up the ” armor ” and just train no gi . Glover Teixeira one of the title challengers for Jon Jones , belongs to the second group . The fighter, who is first and foremost a world class black belt in Jiu – Jitsu , prefers to let the gi aside when preparing to perform at the UFC . Teixeira has an atypical background.
He earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Luigi Mondelli. Unlike many Brazilians, Glover mostly learned BJJ training in the USA. He moved to Danbury, Connecticut in 1999 to help support his family and quickly found a job in landscaping. After watching boxers such as Mike Tyson and the early mixed martial arts fighters such as Royce Gracie and Chuck Liddell compete, Teixeira decided that he wanted to follow the same path. He had never heard of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but was able to find and watch videos of UFC 1 and UFC 2 which featured the legendary UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie.
After working 10–12 hours landscaping, Teixeira would then go train. John Hackleman had trained a fighter who fought Teixeira and was impressed by the young Brazilian. Hackleman invited Teixeira to his gym in California, The Pit, where Teixeira began training with UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell.
His background includes a variety of grappling and MMA tournaments: Grapplers Quest, NAGA, Sport Fight (where he was the Light Heavyweight Champion). Under submission wrestling rules, he grappled with well known fighters Jeff Monson and Brandon Vera. He won the 2009 Brazilian ADCC trials in the under 99 kg division, and in the 2011 Brazilian ADCC trials he took second place. He famously beat Dean Lister in ADCC in Barcelona in 2009.
Here is what he had say about training in the Gi in an interview with Tatame:
” I do not like the gi, and don’t with it. I do MMA , and the gi has grips that you will never use in an MMA fight . There are positions that you can do well using the gi , but without it , it will be difficult . The grips are not the same , but the defenders of Jiu – Jitsu say otherwise . Although I am a black belt , I have no true background in Jiu -Jitsu. I’ve never competed in any mundials , for example…”
Glover feels comfortable on the ground in MMA:
“Jiu – Jitsu helps me a lot . Today , I have confidence in the ground, and am not afraid to be taken down. My striking is good . It also gives me greater confidence . ”
Texeira vs Lister in ADCC 2009:
Texeira vs Roberto Cyborg in ADCC 2011: