Glover Teixeira may have earned a title shot earlier this month (Sept. 4, 2013) with a first round technical knockout victory over Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 28, but he understands how close he was to letting the opportunity slip through his fingers.
Before landing the combination that sent Bader crashing to the canvas, he had been rocked on the feet, something he never saw coming. He tells ESPN that it was a lesson he'll never forget:
"I was really confident. I was a little concerned about his wrestling, but I was in no way concerned about his hands at all. In my mind, there was no way this guy was going to do anything standing up. But [being hurt by Bader] gave me a wake-up call. Anybody in this game is a difficult fight, and you have to be careful... I went into the fight with a guy who I never thought could hurt me with his hands standing up, but the next fight, I am going to be careful with everything."
To his credit, Teixeira handled himself well when he was hurt, defended himself properly when Bader went in recklessly for the kill and punished "Darth" with a pair of hooks which connected cleanly before pouncing with some finishing blows on the ground.
The Brazilian knows he won't be able to make the same mistake against next opponent as he moves to the top of the division's food chain.
As part of his preparation to face the winner of the upcoming Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Light Heavyweight title bout this weekend (Sept. 21) in the main event o UFC 165, Teixeira expects to be sitting very close to all the action cageside.
If Jones manages to defend his belt against Gustafsson, could Teixeira "ruin his special night" again with a post-fight confrontation inside the Octagon?