UFC light heavyweight Glover Teixeira doesn’t put a lot of pressure on himself for his fights, but despite his mental toughness, there had to be a certain amount of inherent pressure coming into his fight with Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 73 on Saturday night in Nashville.
Teixeira lost his two previous fights, albeit to then-champion Jon Jones and perennial Top 10 fighter Phil Davis, but two losses in the UFC can easily push a fighter out of the upper tier of a division. Teixeira, however, maintained a No. 4 ranking in a division that is currently short on title contenders.
Still, a loss to Saint Preux would have sent him sliding far down the ladder when it comes for a shot at the belt.
For Teixeira, though, he insists the pressure for him was more about putting on a good performance more than out-and-out winning.
“I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m strong mentally. I’m not fighting pushovers. My last fight, the pressure was to show what I’m capable to, to show the best that I can be, and not show up like I did in the last fight,” he said at the UFC Fight Night 73 post-fight press conference.
“You always have something to prove. I have a dream; it’s to be a champion.”
The Brazilian put on a solid performance, surviving Saint Preux’s explosive striking early in the fight to score numerous takedowns and smother him with ground and pound en route to a third-round rear-naked choke that put out the lights.
Teixeira certainly felt good about his effort, which was part of him and Saint Preux garnering the Fight of the Night bonus.
“(Daniel) Cormier, I told you before, I’m coming for you baby. I’m on the right track.”
Generally, coming off of two losses to score a victory wouldn’t spark much confidence in taking aim at the champion. Considering that he had won 20 fights in a row prior to those two losses, and considering the dearth of contenders at 205 pounds, Teixeira is justified in thinking that he’s either next in line or only another victory or two away from current titleholder Daniel Cormier.
“I’m right there. The way the division is right now, you mention the top contenders, you’re going to have to mention my name,” he said.
“I’m there and see what the organization will do. I just prepare and show my best every time.”