Glover Teixeira had his hand raised on Saturday night. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
After being manhandled by Jon Jones and Phil Davis for the better part of eight rounds in 2014, Glover Teixeira’s standing in the light heavyweight division took a serious hit.
Once billed by UFC President Dana White as the guy nobody wanted to fight at 205 pounds, Teixeira was suddenly on the outside looking in when it came to title contenders. The 36-year-old Brazilian began to get back on track in August, when he submitted rising star Ovince St. Preux with a rear-naked choke in the third round of the UFC Fight Night Nashville main event.
His resurgence continued on Saturday night, as Teixeira’s lethal punching power put away two-time NCAA All-American wrestler Patrick Cummins at 1:12 into the second stanza of their co-headlining encounter at UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo.
Cummins was competitive in the opening frame, trading shots with Teixeira on the feet while taking his foe down four times. However, he was unable to hold Teixeira down for any significant period of time, and the tide appeared to turn for good when the Brazilian wobbled “Durkin” with a combination at the end of the frame. Teixeira picked up where he left off in round two, battering Cummins against the fence until referee Herb Dean called off the fight.
“I take my hat off to him. He took a lot of shots. I was hitting him with everything I got. My hand is a little bruised right now. He can take a hit,” Teixeira said during an interview on Fox Sports 1. “He was getting the takedowns... It was a good fight, and later on I started defending the takedowns better.”
While nobody is clamoring for Teixiera to challenge for promotional gold again just yet, he has certainly established that he isn’t ready to be relegated to gatekeeper status, either. Still, despite back-to-back dominant showings, Teixiera knows he must improve in a few key areas if he is to get back to the top of the division.
“[I’m] just learning every time, every day, pacing myself and knowing the power is there. I just need to work my speed,” Teixeira said. “I’m happy I beat a very tough guy. In the end, looking back at the fight a little bit, I took a lot of hits. It’s just a learning experience.
“I’ve just got to learn more and more, go back and work on my combinations, more speed and more head movement. Because if I want to beat the guys like Cormier and Jon Jones, I need to be on top of everything.”
Cormier captured the vacant light heavyweight title in May after Jones was stripped of the belt and suspended indefinitely. With “Jonny Bones” reinstated, a rematch between the two rivals seems inevitable. While Teixeira went the distance with Jones in a title bout in April 2014, he failed to win a single round during the 25-minute encounter.
“I’m here in fourth place in the rankings. I feel like I have to do another fight next year, especially because Jon Jones is coming back and he’s probably going to fight Cormier in April,” Teixeira said at the post-fight press conference. “I have to fight again, maybe once or twice. I don’t want to be waiting for the belt. When the chance for the belt comes I want to be ready.”