In just a few hours, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will go live from Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, returning to the country for the tenth time for UFC Fight Night 28: "Teixeira vs. Bader."
Winner of four straight, Glover Teixeira, can bank a title shot if he beats The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season eight winner Ryan Bader later tonight (Sept. 4, 2013) in the main event.
"Darth," on the other hand, could play spoiler -- stealing Teixeira's spotlight with a win and putting him that much closer to a title shot, despite being 2-2 in his last four bouts.
This five-round main event will determine who is the next light heavyweight to watch, alongside the champion (Jon Jones), a list of former champions (Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida) and up-and-coming youngsters in the division (Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis), who all eagerly await the winner.
As both men finished off a week of media appearances and successfully made weight yesterday (see their staredown pic here), it's time for their "Last Words," before the time for talking is done and the fists start to fly.
A few video montages showcased both main event fighters and where they are currently standing in their respective careers, speaking on what a win will do for both of them.
The Brazilian was up first.
On the motivation going into this fight:
"For me, it is very important to finish the fight. I just want to be the best man on the planet. That's the motivation. That's why we're in this sport. I have a dream. I want to get that title. I want to prove to myself, the fans and to UFC that I am ready -- ready for the title."
Ryan Bader's plans don't sound much different from Teixeira's.
On what his goals are going into this fight:
"I fought the best guys in the world and I have been for a long time. I'm more hungry now than I've ever been in my whole career. My ultimate goal is to get that belt. Jumping in the Octagon, I'm looking across and it's just another man across the Octagon. I want to break his spirit, break his will."
The open workouts for UFC Fight Night 28 took place this week, as both main event fighters had a few things to share with the media, providing insight as to where they are in their respective careers and what this fight means to each of them.
Ryan Bader spoke about his unique position in the main event from Belo Horizonte.
On being the underdog and how he feels going into the fight:
"Honestly, I love playing the underdog role. I like fighting in that role, I'm free to do whatever I feel in the Octagon. Nobody's expecting me to win -- so I get to go out there and spoil everybody's plans."
On how he prepares for this fight:
"It's really to be preparing mentally and physically. I'm physically prepared, mentally I'm prepared. The fans are passionate, they're high energy -- I'll feed off that whether it is negative or positive."
On how he will perform in the main event:
"I know I'm going to go out there and put on a show. I'm going to get the win and I see myself, every time I visualize it -- I'm winning this fight and I'm moving on. I think I'm going to surprise a lot of people."
Teixeira gets the opportunity to fight in front of his countrymen and with a win over "Darth," he may land the number one contender's spot for the light heavyweight championship.
"You always dream of being in the main event in the UFC. That's every fighter's dream. I never thought it would be here in my home state. I always think Las Vegas or somewhere, but not here and it's great."
On his wrestling skills being put to the test:
"This is a test for myself to see my wrestling. I am excited to test it."
On fighting in front of his home crowd in Brazil:
"In a way, there is a little bit of pressure. I have to win this fight, and it feels good to have pressure."
On getting the win and where it would take him in the division:
"The belt is the next step. But, right now I am focused on Ryan Bader."
UFC on FOX Weigh-In Show
Heidi Androl spoke to Teixeira one last time before his main event scrap, asking him a few questions about his focus and how he feels going into Brazil on a 19-fight win streak.
On how he stays focused considering his win streak and his hype going into this fight:
"I just love what I do. I love this main event, I'm very excited. Love for this sport makes me stay focused."
On how he feels going into the main event and how he finds balance not being over-trained:
"I feel great, I'm going to bring the knockout."
On Bader saying he is worthy of the hype and the challenges his opponent present to him:
"He's a tough guy, but I'm confident in my skills. I'm going to beat him."
Those are the "Last Words" before tonight's fight.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 28 fight card TONIGHT (Sept. 4, 2013) right here, starting with the Facebook "Prelims" at 4:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 5 p.m. ET and then main card action (also FOX Sports 1), which is slated to begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Who will walk the walk tonight in Brazil?