Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in action on FOX Sports 1 tonight (Weds., Sept. 4, 2013) with UFC Fight Night 28: "Teixeira vs. Bader," which rocked Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
You can thank Glover Teixeira for that.
The Brazilian was able to cement his status as light heavyweight No. 1-ranked contender and will likely meet the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson, who battle it out for "Bones'" belt at the UFC 165 pay-per-view (PPV) event later this month in Toronto.
But, he almost gave it all away.
That's because Teixeira was on queer street thanks to the heavy hands of Ryan Bader, who rolled into enemy territory with something to prove. Namely, that it was he -- not the hometown hero -- who was moving on to bigger and better things at 205 pounds.
Close, but no Delectados.
"Darth" rushed in after his initial flurry and tried to seal the deal; however, his recklessness opened him up to a thunderous counterpunch and a few seconds later, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 champion was looking at the lights. See how it all went down in our live results post here.
But, enough about the past, we must now look to the future.
Namely, how Teixeira will hold up when he gets his crack at the crown. Every fighter has room for improvement, but getting socked and rocked by a fighter like Bader -- who is not exactly the division's best striker -- could be a case of grim foreshadowing if he's eventually paired off against a heart attack like Jones.
In his own words:
"To tell you the truth, I wasn't happy with this fight - I was disappointed that he knocked my down. I'm going to do more in camp, train more and get there. I'm telling you: This belt is going to be mine, it doesn't matter if it's Jon Jones or Alexander Gustafsson. It's mine. I think one of my problems is that I just had too much self confidence. This was a good wake up call."
And it's not the first time.
Despite dominating Fabio Maldonado at the UFC 153 event last year in Rio, there was also a point in time during their all-Brazilian bangfest that he was in trouble on the feet. It could be a case of overconfidence, something Teixeira alluded to in Wednesday night's post-fight interview with Jon Anik, or it could just be bad habits.
Either way, he's going to need to tighten up that defense to reach the division's summit.
It's hard to be critical of a fighter who has run roughshod over the light heavyweight division since his Octagon debut at UFC 146. After all, he's undefeated (5-0) under the ZUFFA umbrella (22-2 overall) with four violent finishes. But, he's competing in a division that mirrors the Game of Death pagoda.
The top floor is always the hardest, something "The Mauler" is going to find out on Sept. 21, 2013, in Toronto, Canada.