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Glover Teixeira’s nine-year run in the Ultimate Fighting Championship has seen him defy the odds time and time again, never more so than on the current five-fight win streak that has propelled him to his second UFC title shot. As the Brazilian — who turns 42 this week — prepares to face off against light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz this Saturday at UFC 267, he took the time to answer a few questions for Sherdog’s readers.
You’re about to fight for the UFC belt again. Can you recap your MMA career up to this point?
“It’s been a long journey – almost 20 years. It’s been a learning experience. We keep learning and improving. For example, during my training camp for when I fought Jon Jones, I was way more stressed, physically and mentally. Today, there’s a big difference. Back then, I was training incorrectly. I wanted to win badly but ended up with the worst outcome. I won most of my fights since then, but some of them were wars. Today, I finally learned to enjoy myself in training. I’m happy to make history by fighting for the belt at 42 years old.”
On a few of your bouts, you took some scary elbows to the head while working on a takedown. It’s a very risky situation for you. Could this happen again?
“Of course, I don’t want to go through that again. But these things happen. We take a few hits. I feel my experience level allows me to get out of situations like that. I have heart. I have the courage to know that things will work out. Though sometimes I eat a few strikes, I also make my opponents pay for it. I tire them out. My strategy is not to get hit. But since this is a fight, I have to be ready for any sort of pain.”
How was your training camp?
“I’ve been working out with all the young guys. Wellington Turman was a big help. I’ve been putting in work on my physical fitness. I’m also working with (kickboxing champ) Alex Pereira. There’s no one as good as him in the UFC. He’s like Israel Adesanya. It’s very different to spar with him. You have to be on your sharpest game. It opens your eyes, your mind. It makes me ready to trade blows with anyone in the UFC. And I’ve also been working on my ground with Caio Magalhaes, in addition to Wellington. I have no need to leave my own academy. Everyone is top-notch.”
Talk about the champion. How do you see yourself winning?
“Blachowicz is a much-improved fighter, as am I. He has tons of experience. I don’t think he’ll rush me, since I recover well. I think he’ll be very strategic. I’ll have to rely on my own experience and willpower.”