Rising Prospect: Glover Teixeira
By: Sensei Phillip Palmejar
Glover Teixeira (19-2, 2-0 UFC)
Recently, people have been talking about the new up and coming light heavyweight fighter Glover Teixeira. He popped up on most people’s radar back in June when the news hit that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua openly turned down an opportunity to fight Teixeira. Dana White wrote on his Twitter account:
“Yeah, he said he’d actually rather be cut, than to have to fight him. Dude, nobody wants to fight this guy. Nobody wants to fight this guy.”
At the time, Teixeira only had a single victory in the UFC Octagon over Kyle Kingsbury (11-5), so what made him such a formidable opponent? Why was one of the greatest fighters in 205 pound history ducking the potential match up?
Let’s begin by looking at the daunted skill set that Teixeira brings with him every time he steps into the cage, which he has been doing since June of 2002. Born in Brazil in 1979, Teixeira began his adulthood as a farmer and lumberjack in his native country. He is already known for his stand up skills as many people are aware that he was former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell’s training partner at The Pit under the tutelage of instructor John Hackleman. In a recent interview with Spencer Lazara with MMAInterviews.tv, Chuck Liddell had this to say about Teixeira:
“He was instrumental in helping me get ready for fights. He was a great work out partner and just a great guy in general.”
Besides his stand up pedigree, twelve knock outs (KO or TKO) to date, fostered by years of training at The Pit with The Iceman and kickboxing legend Peter Aerts, what other tools are in the tool box of the talented Glover Teixeira? First of all, he is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under instructor Luigi Mondelli, owner of American Top Team CT. Back in 2009, Teixeira won the ADCC Brazil trials in the under 99KG division sending him to Barcelona to face some of the greatest grapplers on earth. While there, he put together back to back wins over Vesa Vuori and super submission specialist Dean Lister! In 2011 he placed second in the ADCC Brazil trials winning his first three matches, two by submission, before losing to gold medalist Gabriel Vella.
In his most recent match against Fabio Maldonado in the UFC, Teixeira displayed beautiful grappling skills in his inescapable mount, his transitions and scrambles to superior positions, his takedown defense and his submission skills especially the arm triangle choke. In his Nineteen total victories, four have come by way of grappling submissions.
The heavy handed Teixeira currently sports fight matrix statistics of 100% success rates in both takedowns attempted and takedowns defended for his two fights under the UFC banner. In his fight with BJJ great Marcio “Pe De Pano” Cruz, he defended close to fifteen takedown attempts in route to his TKO victory stoppage from the mount. In fact, in his last seven bouts, all victories by finishes, only a single opponent was able to score one fleeting takedown. Marvin Eastman was able to secure a double leg takedown in their match up under the Shoot banner, however Teixeira was back to his feet in seconds before Eastman could secure any dominant positional control.
He currently rides a seventeen fight win streak boasting his last seven victories without going to the judges. He holds victories over the likes of Marcio Cruz, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Matt Horwich, Kyle Kingsbury, Marvin Eastman and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez by head kick. The only question remaining is what is next for the super prospect?
Some potential match ups that make sense include a battle with another rising prospect in Phil Davis. Mr. Wonderful only has a single loss on his record to Rashad Evans, and with his love of wrestling and his proficiency at takedowns, this is an intriguing match-up. Davis will have to get through Forrest at UFC 155 in December before he can even think about containing the likes of Teixeira. Another great match up would be the winner of Shogun vs Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 5 also in December. Shogun already ducked Teixeira once, but with his stock so high, a win could put Shogun into immediate title contention. If Gustafsson wins, all he really needs is one more marquee match-up to solidify his status as number one contender while Henderson and Machida currently via for that title.
If Teixeira is unwilling to wait for the winners of those matches to heal up and go through another training camp, then a more immediate match up with the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson seems like the inevitable choice. They have been going back and forth since their on and off fight at UFC 153 in which Fabio Maldonado stepped in on short notice for the injured Rampage. Let them settle their score and if Teixeira takes the W, then a win over any of the three previously mentioned opponents should put him at the front of a long list of light heavyweight fighters waiting to snatch the title from Jon “Bones” Jones.
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