Reeling of four consecutive victories inside the Octagon since making his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut little more than one year ago, Glover Teixeira is on the cusp of competing for the promotion's Light Heavyweight title, which is currently held by division kingpin Jon Jones.
He is a man the Brazilian bomber would love to get an opportunity to fight.
However, Teixeira has his plate plenty full as he gets ready for a pivotal 205-pound showdown against Ryan Bader this Wednesday (Sept. 4, 2013) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 28, which goes down from Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
And he'll look to follow the advice of good friend and former Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and go for the finish, all while putting on an exciting fight.
Teixeira broke it down on his recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"I believe so. I think I have to go in there and prove that I'm there for the title shot. I can't go and do a boring fight. Chuck used to tell me all the time, 'If you want to win fans and get fights and get to the title, go over there and excite the fans and prove and show yourself and beat these guys impressive.' This is the way I been fighting. I go to finish all my fights, it doesn't matter what way. I go for knockout, but if I see an opening I will go for the submission."
Getting a finish hasn't been an issue for "Hands of Stone" throughout his 11-year combat career. Of his 21 victories, 18 of them have been finishes (12 knockouts, six submissions). In fact, should Teixeira obtain a win over "Darth," it would be consecutive win No. 20.
And while only five of those would have come under the UFC banner, the streak won't hurt his case in the title hunt race.
Teixeira admits he doesn't have a dog in the title fight between Alexander Gustafsson and Jones, which goes down at UFC 165 on Sept. 21, 2013, but he would rather face "Bones" than "The Mauler" should he get the opportunity to vie for the strap based on name value.
"It's hard for me to say I'm rooting for him (Jones) because Gustafsson has been working hard and wants the title, but, in a way, yeah, if Jon Jones wins its better for me. If I get to fight the champion, it's better fighting Jon Jones because he has the bigger name. It's kind of like Weidman beating Anderson Silva. It's great for him, but If someone goes now and beats Weidman its not the same thing, know what I mean?"
Indeed, a win over Jones would be a nicer mark on a fighter's resume than one over Gustafsson; though a win over the towering Swede wouldn't be too shabby, either.
Nevertheless, before a championship fight between Jones and Teixeira becomes a reality, plenty of pieces have to fall in place. First among them is a victory for Teixeira in his home country of Brazil against Bader.
And that's far from a given.