Glover Teixeira knows he has a huge opportunity in front of him this weekend in Sweden when he takes on former two-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson with a lot on the line for both fighters.
It’s not every day that the number one and number two ranked contenders in any division get the opportunity to fight, but it’s always something special when it actually happens.
As the light heavyweight division awaits Jon Jones’ return in July against current champion Daniel Cormier, Teixeira is keeping a close eye on that fight because he believes a victory over Gustafsson should earn him a chance to face the winner of that fight at UFC 214.
“I think this is a fight that’s going to line up for the title shot,” Teixeira told FOX Sports.
“Jones is going to fight Cormier. They already fought once so I doubt they are going to have a rematch, whoever wins that fight. Even if Cormier wins, I don’t know if they’re going to have a rematch right away because they take a long time to fight.
“Today, I’m just worried about Gustafsson, but I think the winner of this fight is going to be the next in line for the title.”
Teixeira has fought for the title previously during his run with the UFC back in 2014 when he lost a unanimous decision to Jones. Since that time, Teixeira has remained a top contender in the division, but just hasn’t been able to claw his way back into another shot at the gold.
Taking out the number one ranked challenger should be enough to secure him the opportunity, and that’s why Teixeira knows he has a lot riding on this fight with Gustafsson.
“It makes sense. The UFC makes the rankings and that’s what we’re thinking,” Teixeira said about the title shot.
“I think they are both great champions. They’ve done a great job defending the belts and I think it’s going to be a great fight.
“I’m always looking for the belt. I don’t have a beef with anyone in the division, I’m just always looking forward and my goal is to get the belt.”
First things first, Teixeira has to get through Gustafsson this weekend but the veteran Brazilian sounds very confident that he’ll be able to add another highlight reel finish to his resume.
Gustafsson has been recognized as one of the toughest competitors on the roster, but that just makes Teixeira that much more excited for the chance to test his chin with his ferocious punches when they step into the Octagon together.
“I’m definitely going to test him. I’m coming in for a fight and I’ve got to be smart but I’m the kind of guy that’s going to put the pressure on and try to finish this fight,” Teixeira said.
“I don’t want this fight to go to decision. I know Alex is a strong dude, he’s tough and he goes into deep water and I’m ready for that. But my goal is to finish him.
“I’m very confident that I can finish him.”