UFC light heavyweight Glover Teixeira fully established himself as a legitimate contender in January with a one-sided outpointing of Quinton Jackson. The win improved his record to 20-2, was his third in the Octagon, and most importantly involved a former champion. However, Teixeira hasn’t quite gotten to the point of being guaranteed an opportunity at winning divisional gold.
Teixeira will have a chance to build on his reputation in hopes of achieving such status this weekend when he takes on James Te Huna at UFC 160. Though Te Huna may not have the same name value as “Rampage”, Teixeira expects a more exciting result based on the fire he sees burning in Te Huna’s belly.
“He’s a tough guy and I like this fight,” said Teixeira to UFC.com of Te Huna. “Quinton was the biggest name, but everyone was saying before that it looked like he didn’t want to fight anymore. He was in shape for the fight and I was happy about that, but he missed weight a fight before that and you’re thinking ‘Is this guy focused, does he want to fight anymore?’ So if you beat the guy it’s kind of like, ‘Whatever, he didn’t want to fight anyway.’”
“(Te Huna) is good, he’s been winning, and he wants what I want,” Teixeira continued. “He wants to get a title-shot and I know he’s focused. It’s gonna be a great fight, no doubt about that.”
Even if a win over Te Huna doesn’t land Teixeira an immediate crack at the championship, don’t expect the talented Brazilian to slow down in hopes of an injury-based opening.
“I don’t want to be waiting in line,” Teixeira confirmed, comparing the situation to a paperwork issue keeping out of the Untied States for a few years. “I just want to keep fighting, and it’s the same thing as it was with the visa. Sooner or later I’m gonna get that shot and when it comes, it’s the right time.”
The win over Jackson marked Teixeira’s eighteenth in a row. He has finished seventeen of the opponents he’s beaten. By comparison, Te Huna is 16-5 with thirteen stoppages and victories in four straight. Fans can catch their clash on the PPV portion of Saturday night’s show.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports