Glover Teixeira still aims for the top of the division.
The light heavyweight looks to return to the winning column after being finished for the first time in 14 years, suffering a quick knockout loss to Anthony Johnson at UFC 202, and hopes to make Jared Cannonier pay for it at Saturday’s UFC 208 in Brooklyn.
Winner of eight of his 11 UFC fights, the Brazilian talent will face a non-top 10 for the first time in a long time in Cannonier, but doesn’t seem to care. In fact, Teixeira knows his opponent since late-2014, when he helped Shawn Jordan prepare to fight him in January 2015.
“Jared is a tough athlete,” Teixeira told MMA Fighting. “He’s not in the top 10, but I’ve watched his fights before he fought Shawn Jordan. He lost that fight, but he did well in his most recent ones. I’m happy because I’m fighting. We making a living through fights, so I can’t just sit and wait for someone ranked. It doesn’t matter, to tell you the truth. I’m used to this, and I’m motivated to fight.”
Cannonier took a year off after losing to Jordan, and went 2-0 in 2016 with victories over Cyril Asker and Ion Cutelaba, which earned him “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” bonuses, respectively.
“Jared has good movement, an unorthodox striking, and I have to be careful with that,” Teixeira said. “I’ll pressure him, as I always do in my fights, and win. I have to be careful with the timing in this fight.
“I’m a versatile fighter, I train for everything, takedown defense, jiu-jitsu, takedowns, striking. I’m a MMA fighter. I started in this sport with no previous experience in any other sport, so when I started training boxing and jiu-jitsu, my plan was to compete in MMA since day one. I’m confident in every aspect of the fight.”
Teixeira only went the distance once in his UFC wins, having finished seven opponents by knockout or submission, and sees “several ways” of stopping Cannonier at UFC 208.
“When I think about the fight, I foresee different scenarios,” Teixeira said. “Fighting is a crazy sport. We think about several ways of winning, of course, knockouts and submissions. A lot of different things pop in my head, a left cross, a high kick, a right cross. It doesn’t matter, though. I’m thinking about the victory, and I have several ways of finishing this fight.”
When he steps inside the Octagon on Feb. 11, Teixeira will experience a different situation. UFC 208 will mark his return to action after suffering the fastest loss of his MMA career, and he admits that losing in just 13 seconds affected him.
“It was tough, of course, but we have to deal with this situation,” Teixeira said. “Anything can happen in a fight. I’m not the type of guy to think about it too much. Move on, don’t look back. It’s water under the bridge, it’s gone. I have to stay focused and train for my next fight.
“It was quick, so you can’t know for sure,” he said of what went wrong against Johnson. “It was a punch that landed, and it happens. It happened to me. It sucks, but I can’t mourn about it. It’s gone, let’s move on now.”
The 13-second win over Teixeira put Johnson in title contention, as he faces light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier next at UFC 210 on April 8. Teixeira probably has a long way to go before he’s back in the mix for a title shot, and his plan is simple: beat everyone until he gets back up there.
“I have to fight and show what I’m capable of doing,” Teixeira said. “People lose hope when you lose a fight. When I lost two in a row (against Jon Jones and Phil Davis), they lost hope. People said ‘Glover is done,’ but I came back and won three straight and everybody started talking about the belt again.
“I have to stay focused and keep fighting and keep winning. I want to fight Anthony Johnson again, for sure. I want to fight Jon Jones again. I want to fight the guys that beat me, those who are at the top. My dream is to fight for the belt and win this belt.”
The light heavyweight title is on the line at UFC 210, and with Jones cleared to compete July, Teixeira has no idea who will be holding the belt when he gets his second title shot.
“It’s hard to say because there’s Cormier, Anthony Johnson and Jon Jones,” Teixeira said. “I think those are the three guys ahead of me in this title picture. I don’t know when Jon Jones will return. It’s hard to say. I’ll just keep winning to get there.”
Source:: mma fighting