Glover Teixeira made a strong statement with his third-round submission win over Thiago Santos in the UFC Vegas 13 main event and then he backed that up while calling for a title shot after the fight.
Despite earning his fifth win in a row overall, the 41-year-old Brazilian might be forced to wait for an opportunity to battle current light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz as the promotion plots to pit him against middleweight king Israel Adesanya in his next outing.
“Dana White, come on man, I’m an old man over here,” Teixeira said following his win. “You’re going to give the shot to Adesanya and make me wait? Five fights in a row, beating these young guys. It’s not easy. Give me that title shot.”
Afterwards, the UFC president admitted that he not only heard what Teixeira had to say about an opportunity to compete for gold but seemingly ageless light heavyweight contender made a valid point with his argument.
“He’s not wrong,” White said during the UFC Vegas 13 post-fight show. “It’s like ‘I deserve this shot,’ 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 that I don’t know if he’s got it, he proves me wrong. He looked incredible tonight.”
It was just one week ago that White made the surprise announcement that Adesanya would be moving up to 205 pounds to face Blachowicz, who won the vacant title with a second round TKO against Dominick Reyes back in September.
The timing was curious considering Teixeira’s main event fight against Santos scheduled for Saturday night, which had already been tabbed as a potential No.1 contender’s bout.
While there’s still plenty of buzz about Blachowicz vs. Adesanya, White can’t deny Teixeira’s current run, which forces him to consider who exactly will get the next crack at the UFC light heavyweight title.
“It’s something we need to figure out,” White said. “But I heard him and I agree with him and I’m taking him serious. I’m not going to doubt this guy anymore.”