Call him the ageless wonder because at 41 years of age, Glover Teixeira might be the best he’s ever been.
While he was forced to survive a pair of knockdowns courtesy of Thiago Santos in the UFC Vegas 13 main event, Teixeira pulled off a rear naked choke to submit the former title contender and pick up his fifth win in a row overall. The end came at 1:49 in the third round as Teixeira takes a decisive step forward towards his own aspirations to compete for UFC gold again.
“His nickname is ‘Sledgehammer.’ I’m telling you every punch this guy throws is a sledgehammer,” Teixeira said about Santos after securing the win. “It’s amazing to fight with him.”
Prior to the finish, Teixeira had to get through an opening exchange with Santos as he was gunning for the knockout with every punch he threw. The heavy-handed Brazilian connected with an early shot that had Teixeira in trouble as Santos blitzed him with power punches looking for the finish.
Teixeira dropped to the canvas after eating a series of punches but the crafty veteran was quick to grab onto a leg to survive at first before then transitioning to a takedown. On the ground, Teixeira was dominant while battering Santos with strikes and constantly seeking to advance his position.
As the fight moved forward, Teixeira learned a lesson by just avoiding the exchanges with Santos on the feet and immediately taking the fight back down to the ground. Teixeira was relentless while hammering away at Santos from the top and giving his fellow Brazilian no time to breathe.
With time running out in the second round, Teixeira transitioned to the mount and then took the back where he locked up a rear naked choke. It appeared a finish was imminent but Santos survived to the horn, which allowed him to continue.
The inability to put Santos away came back to bite Teixeira after “Maretta” uncorked a nasty counter left hand at the start of the third round that put the 41-year-old veteran back down on the mat again. This time it was Santos on top raining down punches but once again Teixeira showcased his awe-inspiring durability as he weathered the storm before reversing positions.
Once he got control again, Teixeira wasted no time looking for the submission and with Santos stuck face first on the canvas he had no choice but to tap out once the rear naked choke was locked in. It was an amazing comeback for Teixeira, who has now won five fights in a row to put himself into position to potentially fight for the title after his last opportunity came back in 2014.
Just recently, UFC president Dana White announced that middleweight champion Israel Adesanya would be moving up to 205 pounds to challenge Blachowicz but Teixeira is obviously staking his claim in hopes of jumping to the front of the line for title shot consideration.
“Dana White, come on man, I’m an old man over here,” Teixeira said with a smile. “You’re going to give the shot to [Israel] Adesanya and make me wait? Five fights in a row, beating these young guys. It’s not easy. Give me that title shot.”