Glover Teixeira continues his winning ways…
The 41-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist submitted Thiago Santos via rear-naked choke at 1:49 of the third round on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
Santos rocked Teixeira in the first round and put Teixeira in big trouble to start the third. But Teixeira, as he has done time and time again, persevered and found the finish.
The victory puts Teixeira, six years following his most recent title shot, close to another chance at the 205-pound belt. ESPN had Santos ranked No. 4 and Teixeira No. 6 in the world at light heavyweight coming in.
“Dana White, man,” Teixeira said, referring to the UFC president, in his post-fight interview. “Come on, man. I’m an old man. I’m here. You’ve gotta give me a shot. … It’s not easy. Give me that title shot, man. Either way, I’m so happy to be here.”
The UFC’s plan is to have light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz fight middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a superfight next year. Blachowicz has said he’d prefer to fight in March and Adesanya told ESPN past week that his expectation is that Blachowicz will be his next opponent.
White didn’t back off Blachowicz vs. Adesanya as the plan, but he said he’s listening to Teixeira, too.
“I heard him and I agree with him and I’m taking him serious,” White told the UFC’s Laura Sanko in a backstage interview Saturday. “I’m not gonna doubt him anymore.
“He’s not wrong. … He’s been here forever, he’s on a streak. He looked great tonight. What’s funny is every time I count this guy out and think, ‘I don’t know if he’s got it,’ he proves me wrong. He looked incredible tonight.”
Teixeira (32-7) has won five straight. He lives and trains in Connecticut, and fought longtime former champion Jon Jones for the title way back at UFC 172 in April 2014. Teixeira is 10-4 since then and has been considered one of the best light heavyweights in the world now for the better part of a decade. Teixeira cashed as a +200 underdog.
In UFC light heavyweight history, Teixeira is now tied for second in victories (15) and is first in finishes (12).