Glover Teixeira didn’t just show up and win at UFC 267, he showed up and showed out. The highly impressive submission victory over former champion Jan Blachowicz earned him the UFC Light-heavyweight title in his 40th professional fight, almost 20 years into his career.
Teixeira winning the championship so late into his career after all of the ups and downs is a true feel-good story. What makes it even more satisfying is that in a day and age in this sport where popularity and marketability play a significant role in who gets the championship opportunities. Teixeira earned it the old school way, by letting the performances do the speaking for him and putting together a winning streak that was undeniable.
The outcome of the UFC 267 main event seemed to have not been what a lot of the fanbase was expecting. In the post-fight fallout, a lot of the narrative surrounding it was to do with Błachowicz, and wondering where he went wrong. When in actuality, it was less about what was wrong with Błachowicz, and more about what was right with Teixeira.
ANDDDDD NEWWWWWWW 🏆
— UFC (@ufc) October 30, 2021
What was right with Teixeira was likely an amalgamation of many things. You have accrued experience against the elite of the division for the past 10 years, and the newfound approach he took in 2018 to make a point to start taking good care of himself and his body with the help of the UFC Performance Institute. Both of those things coupled with not having any doubt about what he was capable of, despite his age, was a recipe for success.
At what point do fans and oddsmakers accept that you don’t have to be in your mid-20’s and in your physical prime to reach the pinnacle in this sport? The humble champion has been underrated plenty of times in the past. Before his latest win, Teixeira entered his last two contests as the betting underdog. Only to emerge victorious in both fights as equally as definitive as the win over Blachowicz was.
A lot of fans’ judgment is clouded by the storylines and the narrative surrounding a contest. When in reality, the storylines a fight has don’t do a damn thing for anybody inside the octagon. It comes down to the skills of the mixed martial artist and the mental capacity to execute when the lights are on. Teixeira has single-handedly proved that youth isn’t a pre requisite to achieving optimal performance and being the best version of yourself.
For reference, Glover Teixeira is the same age as BJ Penn, Rashad Evans, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir, Gabriel Gonzaga, Gray Maynard, Jake Shields, and Forrest Griffin. He just convincingly won a UFC title. Unbelievable.🥲 pic.twitter.com/tAdA8o8tkZ
— Ryan Hobbs (@RyanHobbsMMA) October 30, 2021
Now Jiri Prochazka is waiting in the wings, a fighter who is widely considered the hottest new prospect in the game, and for good reason. The fighter from the Czech Republic is as dangerous of a newcomer as we’ve ever seen. At this point, it’s not unreasonable to think that Prochazka would be the betting favorite should the match against Teixeira come to fruition. The oddsmakers and the fans keep doubting, but it would be foolish to think that Teixeira doesn’t have the ability to win that fight . Fans best believe he can take Prochazka down and submit the same way he did to Błachowicz.
Depending on how the first title defense unfolds, we could be at the very beginning of something quite special. It’s sensational enough to capture the title under the circumstances that Teixeira did. But to capture the title and defend it would only serve to heighten the reverence of the accomplishment and motivation he is providing a lot of fighters out there right now.
🗣 Never give up on your dreams!
A powerful message from @GloverTeixeira 🇧🇷
— UFC (@ufc) October 30, 2021
Just wait to hear how many fighters will take inspiration from Teixeira and his UFC championship title victory. His performance has had far more of an impact than most of us realize, but the magnitude of his influence will reveal itself as time goes on.
Who’s to say you can’t reign supreme over the rest late in your career? Teixeira has never had those limiting beliefs, and now as a result of his actions, those beliefs held by a lot of the fans and fighters are being changed. One win at a time.