Fresh off a quick victory over Misha Cirkunov last December, Glover Teixeira, currently ranked third in the UFC’s official light heavyweight rankings, is eyeing a chance to fight for the belt. With Alexander Gustafsson injured and Volkan Oezdemir getting a crack at champion Daniel Cormier this week, Teixeira hopes that he can position himself in front of the line sooner rather than later.
Back in the gym after the holidays, Teixeira is travelling to Brazil soon and is set to ramp up his training in February to be able to fight in April or May. For the Brazilian, that would be the perfect date for a title shot, although he knows that he might have to win another fight first before getting to fight Cormier or Oezdemir.
“I think April would be a good time frame, because in that fight [against Cirkunov] I was still a little afraid to hurt my hand”, Teixeira told AG. Fight. “It was after a surgery that I had to do, and I was still feeling it a little bit […]. I was afraid a little bit, but, thank God, it worked out, my hand is at a hundred percent [now], so it was good to have this fight. Now, it’s a bit of a wait. I’ll rest and come back.”
“There’s always that possibility [to fight for the belt], this is a sport that has injuries, a lot of things can happen. It could even happen now, for January 20. In my position, you must be prepared at all times. That’s why I’ve been doing cardio and lost weight.”
Teixeira had his first shot at UFC gold in April 2014, when he was beaten by Jon Jones. Since then, while the Brazilian remained among the elite of the light heavyweight division, he had to digest his share of setbacks as well. Still, Teixeira wouldn’t be opposed to lock horns with Jones again, who is currently serving a suspension after winning back his title last July with a knockout over Daniel Cormier and subsequently flunking a drug test.
“I’m in a position where I don’t want to prove anything to anyone”, Teixeira said. “I don’t have to. I want to fight Cormier for the belt […], the goal is always the belt, to be world champion. With Jon Jones coming back, people say a lot that… It’s a joke, right (laughs)? How many times will he be suspended for the same thing? But, he’s a guy who sells, who will fight to get back [to where he was]. He was always at the top, doping or not, so, who knows?”
However, while Teixeira won’t rule out a second fight against Jones, he feels that the former champion’s doping troubles have put a stain on his career and might continue to do so.
“Honestly, I’m thinking a lot about whether he was doing it all his career”, Teixeira said. “People think that, and we do as well, everyone who has fought him. But, who knows, maybe USADA will keep an eye on him. But, if he did it so many times, he can do it again. If he keeps getting six months or a year off [as punishment], he will keep doing it. That’s good for him, it’s [as if he were] the champion and fights once a year.”