UFC light heavyweight Glover Teixeira is one of the hottest names in the division at the moment with sixteen straight wins to his credit including an impressive UFC debut against Kyle Kingsbury earlier this year. However, when he steps into the Octagon this Saturday night at UFC 153 he’ll do so with the attitude of a fighter who has nothing to lose.
Fighting in the UFC has been a lifelong goal of Teixeira’s and to have made it, especially after going 2-2 to start his career out including a loss in his first professional appearance, has the 32-year old Brazilian feeling like he’s already won even if he doesn’t literally do so against Fabio Maldonado at this weekend’s event.
“I wanted to be a boxer until the day I watched a Royce Gracie fight. Then I wanted to fight MMA. I went all the way…now I am in the UFC,” explained Teixeira in an interview with the UFC. “I have already achieved my dream. Of course I still dream of becoming a champion. Of course I want more, we always want more. But I’m (among) the best. I got into the UFC. They’re already talking about me fighting (Mauricio Rua), Quinton Jackson. To be competing with them already is a victory.”
Teixeira’s journey hasn’t necessarily been an easy one but he never contemplated quitting, even after his early stumbles or the visa issues preventing him from fighting outside of Brazil for a couple of years. Staying focused and working hard are two attributes Teixeira learned to adopt at an early age thanks to the lessons his father imparted on him. He even remembers the day things clicked on that front.
“My father would always get home late from work. One day he got a big cut on his hand while working. His job was to milk the cows…he would take a lot of milk and you need both hands. So how could he do he do it with a big cut on his hand? He couldn’t pay anyone to help him. He turned to me and said, ‘Tomorrow you will be a man.’ I was 7 or 8 years old,” said Teixeira of the experience. “He said, ‘Tomorrow you will tie the cows…We’ll get up before 4 AM because I can only use one hand.’ I tied the cows and watched him milking the cows with one hand. He took out all the milk with one hand. Later I commented, ‘It’s so hard, right dad? To take out the milk out with one hand. It takes a long time.’ He said, ‘Yes son, but that’s part of each person’s life, so you can learn why God gave you two hands.’ It’s that day that made me understand. It’s true, there’s always a way out. It doesn’t matter how.”
“You’ve got to train hard and believe in it. Do what you want to do, train it, believe it,” Teixeira concluded.
Check out the complete interview with Teixeira below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC