5 Defining Moments: Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira laid down his arms for the final time in the UFC 283 main event, where he failed in his bid to reclaim the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title in a unanimous decision defeat to Jamahal Hill on Saturday at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. Afterward, the widely revered and respected Brazilian announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, closing the book on a storied career that began all the way back in 2002.

Now 43 years of age and with untold hours of hand-to-hand combat having taken virtually all the tread off of his tires, Teixeira completes his remarkable journey with a 33-9 record that includes 28 victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

As Teixeira enters the next phase of his life, a look at five of the many moments that came to define him:

1. Worth the Wait

Teixeira was sensational in his long-awaited and long-overdue promotional debut, as he submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 alum Kyle Kingsbury with an arm-triangle choke in the first round of their UFC 146 light heavyweight prelim on May 26, 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Kingsbury raised the white flag of surrender 1:53 into Round 1. Teixeira wasted no time getting down to business. He put heavy power punches on Kingsbury, wobbled him with a searing uppercut and followed the American Kickboxing Academy export to the mat. Teixeira ultimately moved to mount, battered his counterpart from top position and locked in the choke for the finish.

2. Just Due

A new No. 1 contender for the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight crown emerged when Teixeira put away Ryan Bader with punches in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 28 headliner on Sept. 4, 2013 Jornalista Felipe Drumond Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Bader succumbed to blows 2:55 into Round 1. The triumph did not come without a momentary scare, however, as Bader briefly dropped the Brazilian with a left hand and rushed in to finish. It was only a matter of time before Teixeira responded. With his back against the fence, the John Hackleman protégé appeared to be in peril as Bader fired off an uppercut and two overhand rights after failing on a guillotine attempt. The Brazilian answered with a two-punch combination of his own that dropped the former Arizona State University wrestling star, and from there, it was academic. Sensing the end was near, Teixeira pounded his adversary with right hands until referee Herb Dean called a halt to their encounter.

3. Out of His Depth

Jon Jones overwhelmed Teixeira with his diverse standup arsenal and retaining the undisputed light heavyweight championship with a lopsided unanimous decision in the UFC 172 main event on April 26, 2014 at the Baltimore Arena. “Bones” pitched a shutout on the scorecards, as he took all five rounds in the eyes of all three cageside judges. Teixeira had no answer for the superior skills and athleticism with which he was faced. Jones was effective at a distance, but he did his best work in the clinch. There, he attacked the challenger with a series of short slashing elbows, one of which opened a gnarly diagonal cut above the Brazilian’s right eye. Teixeira fired back in response, but his heavy hands seemed to have no effect on the relentless champion. Jones outlanded his counterpart by a staggering 138-53 margin in terms of significant strikes, secured the only three takedowns of the bout and piled up nearly six minutes of control time.

4. Better Late than Never

Some 48 hours after he celebrated his 42nd birthday, the ageless Teixeira submitted Jan Blachowicz with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their UFC 267 headliner and walked away with the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title on Oct. 30, 2021 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Blachowicz tapped out 3:02 into Round 2, as he bowed in defeat for the first time in more than three years. Teixeira set the table in the first round, where he took down the WCA Fight Team product inside the first minute and consolidated his efforts with top control and ground-and-pound. He waded through thudding punches from the Polish powerhouse in Round 2, staggered him with a sweeping left hook and secured another takedown. Teixeira then climbed to full mount, transitioned to the back and flattened out the champion before cinching the choke for the finish.

5. Passing the Torch

Jiri Prochazka submitted Teixeira with a no-hooks rear-naked choke and laid claim to the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title in the UFC 275 main event on June 12, 2022 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Teixeira capitulated 4:32 into Round 5, suffering the first submission defeat of his 41-fight career. Back and forth they went for four-plus rounds, exchanging takedowns, dominant positions, submission attempts and heavy leather. Neither man was willing to give in to the pain or punishment. Teixeira carved out a horrendous gash above his opponent’s left eye with a savage elbow strike in the second round before Prochazka returned the favor in the third, opening a cut across the bridge of the venerable Brazilian’s nose. As they entered Round 5, it was anyone’s fight. Teixeira executed takedown, achieved full mount and threatened with an arm-triangle choke. However, Prochazka never considered surrender as an option. He slipped out of Teixeira’s grasp, wheeled behind him and snuck his arms in place for the choke. His powerful squeeze and fatigue combined to do the rest, and they were enough to end Teixeira’s unlikely reign atop the 205-pound weight class.
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