Glover Teixeira entered the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 21 with one goal in mind: Beat Jamahal Hill and reclaim the UFC light heavyweight championship.
Win or lose, he didn’t plan on laying down his gloves and retiring that night — until he realized that a 25-minute war for the belt was the perfect way to end a legendary career.
“I had nothing planned,” Teixeira stated on Tuesday’s episode Trocacao Franka .. Because recovery can be difficult, I was sometimes getting frustrated with training. That brutal training is something that I am used to, and it’s what I have missed out on in this fight. There were many chances. Although I tried to avoid [his punches] at first, he began to punch me and then cut me. However, I was able to block most of them and fight back. But I was lacking that aggressiveness. But I lacked that aggressiveness.”
A 43-year-old veteran who left his hometown of Sobralia to embark on a long, dangerous route to achieve his ultimate dream, Teixeira showed no quit in the main event of UFC 283, but didn’t have enough in the tank to get the job done in the final round. How the fight and camp went, Teixeira said, were the signs he needed to realize it was time. Even though his hand was not raised at the end of the fight, it felt like the right way to make it a career.
Hill was close to beating Teixeira in round three and 4. But, Teixeira managed to find a way to fight back to convince Marc Goddard that he would continue. Now Teixeira may need to go under the knife to fix his broken nose, but that decision is yet to be made — with no fight on the horizon, he’s in no rush either.
“It was so cool, man,” Teixeira said of UFC 283. I started my career in America and was able to experience the Brazilian fight scene. This allowed me to learn about Brazilian culture and to then return to Brazil to end my Brazilian career. Everything makes me happy.
“I said, ‘This is the moment, to move on to another stage.’ If I’m not fighting for the UFC belt, if I don’t have that goal — I’ve never fought only for the belt, but I had that thing of, ‘I’m going after it, I’ll win it again,’ you know? It’s a good thing to go back to fight for another fight without any desire or hunger to win the belt again.
” My wife is very pleased with my decision. She can’t bear it any more. The fights are not the only thing that make this sport so difficult. This sport is hard. You give your all in any sport to become a world champion, you leave it all in there and bring your family with you through that pressure on fight week. When I book a fight, I can see the tension in my wife and mother. ‘Who are you fighting? Jamahal?’ And she goes on to watch Jamahal Hill’s fights, Jiri Prochazka’s. She doesn’t say anything, she’s always confident, ‘You’ll beat him,’ but she sees the danger this guy presents.
“And I have battles like this and don’t go down, like my last fight. It was not something she watched, but she demanded that the referee stop it. It is your wish that the referee stops it. He should not stop. I swear to you, there was a moment when Hill was ground and pounding that I had my eyes covered in blood and couldn’t see anything, only the lights and Jamahal’s punches coming down, and I was like, ‘F*ck, the referee can’t stop this. I’m not hurt, but I’m not doing much.’ I was in the fight the whole time, I fought until the end, and I’m proud of the fight.”
Teixeira will continue hitting the gym every day to coach other athletes, most notably UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira. It won’t be easy to turn the switch after 20 years of professional fighting, and that’s why he won’t walk away completely. For his future, however, he’s only looking at grappling matches with fellow veterans or even a boxing match with some potential celebrities, opportunities to have fun and earn some cash.
” I won’t quit training,” Teixeira stated. “If there’s an opportunity in the future for a match, do some boxing — [Acelino Freitas] ‘Popo’ boxed [Brazilian YouTuber] Whindersson [Nunes], right? Maybe I’ll fight some heavy guy, a celebrity, and move my body a little bit. Why not, man?”