Despite earning the biggest win of his career Saturday night, Glover Teixeira is not ready to name himself the UFC light heavyweight division’s No. 1 contender, nor is he pining for a shot at the winner of Jon Jones’ UFC 159 title defense against Chael Sonnen.
“That’s not my job. The No. 1 contender right now is Chael Sonnen. You have to respect that,” Teixeira told Fox Sports after his unanimous decision victory over Quinton Jackson in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 6. “I think Chael is a good fighter, but I believe Jones is going to keep the title. [Waiting for the winner] is going to take too long. I want to fight before that.”
Teixeira put forth an excellent performance at United Center in Chicago, mixing up punches, kicks and takedowns to keep Jackson on his toes throughout the 15 minute contest. Teixeira even dropped “Rampage” near the end of the first frame but was unable to finish the resilient veteran.
“He’s tough, man. I knew he was tough. This is a guy who has pride. I hit him with good shots, but he hits hard, too,” said Teixeira. “I couldn’t become cocky in that situation and get caught with a punch, so I took my time. I swear, I hit him hard. I hurt him, and I thought it was going to be a knockout.”
Though the Pit representative never relinquished control of the contest to his battle-tested foe, the Brazil native said the third frame proved to be the most challenging due to a nagging rib issue sustained in training camp. Still, he credits Jackson’s toughness and punching power for forcing him to go the distance.
“I had a little problem with my body before I came to this fight. My rib was a little hurt, and I felt it a little bit in the third round, but there are no excuses. I wasn’t going to [give] excuses if I lost this fight, so there are no excuses [for not finishing my opponent],” said Teixeira. “Quinton is a tough son of a gun. It was just a little problem, and I guarantee he had the same [type] of thing, too. No fighter comes in 100 percent. If you come 100 percent to a fight, it means you’re not training.”
In spite of the well documented pre-fight hype between the men, Teixeira maintains that he has always been a fan of the former champion and his fighting style. Soon after the bout concluded, Teixeira said the veteran reciprocated the attitude, offering both respect and encouragement.
“I’m a big fan of Quinton Jackson. He’s my idol,” said Teixeira. “[After the fight, Jackson] said, ‘Now I’m your fan. Go and be a champion.’ I would never disrespect him. It was amazing. It was a great fight with him.”