The #3 ranked UFC light heavyweight Glover Teixeira is set to face the top contender Thiago Santos at UFC Vegas 13. The November 7 main event fight was supposed to decide who gets the title shot next.
But things have changed since the fight was first arranged. UFC President Dana White has confirmed that middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will move up to light heavyweight and challenge Jan Blachowicz for the 205-pound belt.
Glover Teixeira on Israel Adesanya in light heavyweight
Glover Teixeira, whose title contention would inevitably get delayed if the fight happens, shared with MMA Fighting what he really thinks of Israel Adesanya in the light heavyweight division.
Glover Teixeira said he was confident Adesanya would succeed at 205-pounds. He had the skills and talents required to do so. But Teixeira also sent a fair bit of warning to Israel Adesanya.
The Brazilian fighter spoke from first-hand experience of training with Heavyweights, that the difference in weight is definitely going to be a hurdle to cross.
"He’s good and would get to the top, for sure. He’s good as hell, good athlete, good fighter, super intelligent, and for sure would get to the top, but the weight [difference], everything counts. I know that because I train with heavyweights, and it’s hard. The fatigue, the pressure is different."
Glover Teixeira on Jan Blachowicz's title win
If the Israel Adesanya fight comes to fruition, that will be Jan Blachowicz's first title defense since he won it beating Dominick Reyes via knockout in September.
Glover Teixeira admitted that he did not expect Jan Blachowicz to win as clinically as he did. The champion won via TKO (punches) in the second round at UFC 253 co-main event. Teixeira expected Reyes to have an advantage over Blachowicz because of his power, but was mistaken in his judgment.
"I didn’t expect him to win, not like that, dominating like that. I thought he could win, they are on the same level. I thought Reyes would have an advantage with the way he moves and his power but, honestly, when I saw their stare down in the center of the cage, I expected Reyes to be a lot bigger."
Whether Teixeira will get to face Blachowicz for the title or not depends on the results of both the fights.
However, Glover Teixeira already has a plan in place for the current light heavyweight champion.
"He can’t stand still like that against me. He has to move. If he doesn’t move, he’s going down. (Blachowicz and Reyes) didn’t shoot once in two rounds. I won’t just stand and trade with the guy, I’ll mix it up with strikes and takedowns, and that confuses him."
Teixeira will step into Saturday's bout with a four-fight winning streak over the likes of Anthony Smith, Ion Cutelaba, Nikita Krylov, and Karl Roberson. A victory will extend his streak to five and put him next in line for the title, no matter who holds it in the end.Published 05 Nov 2020, 23:45 IST