In the form of his recent career as of late, one-time UFC light heavyweight championship challenger, Glover Teixeira seems to have stamped his status as the division’s number-one contender once again via a hugely-impressive third-round rear-naked choke win over bruiser, Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos at UFC Vegas 13.
Scoring his fifth consecutive win, the Minas Gerais native weathered both an early and late storm from his countryman, scoring smothering takedowns and controlled the American Top Team mainstay from top-position, before eventually wrapping up his ninth career submission win.
Entering the clash as an underdog, it seemed Teixeira or betting favourite, Santos would have to wait on a light heavyweight title challenge against current kingpin, Jan Blachowicz, as he prepares for a defence against middleweight champion, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, potentially in March.
Off the back of his title challenge earning victory, Teixeira pleaded with UFC president, Dana White for a title shot before planned division climber, Adesanya, with the 41-year-old asking the leader not to drag out his second title shot under the promotion’s banner any longer.
“Dana White, come on man, I’m an old man over here,” Teixeira told UFC commentator, Jon Anik during his post-fight interview. “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.“
Speaking with media following the culmination of the night’s main event, White agreed with Teixeira’s argument, detailing how the 41-year-old continues to prove him wrong when he thinks he’ll ultimately come up short.
“He’s (Glover Teixeira) not wrong,” White told. “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’s something we need to figure out. But I heard him and I agree with him and I’m taking him serious. I’m not going to doubt this guy anymore.“
The timing of White’s recent announcement that Adesanya would be pursuing his second Octagon title against Blachowicz came in quite surprising fashion, given the fact Saturday night’s main event between Santos and Teixeira hadn’t played out and had been viewed as a title-eliminator.
White had claimed that former middleweight champion, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker had rejected the chance to rematch Adesanya following his recent UFC 254 unanimous decision win over Jared ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier, ultimately opening the door for a ‘superfight’ between Blachowicz and Adesanya, however, Whittaker has refuted these recent claims, noting how White had “twisted” his words.