For Brazilian star Glover Teixeira (21-2), his fight against Ryan Bader (15-3) may carry more at stake than he realizes.
Teixeira, who has been dominant since his made his UFC debut back in 2012, has said he wants to fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. If he defeats Bader, he could get that chance no matter if the champion is Jon Jones (18-1) or Alexander Gustafsson (15-1).
Glover has not been vocal about getting a title opportunity because he felt he was new in the company. Although I admire Teixeira wanting to establish himself as a staple in the UFC before receiving a title shot, there have been many fighters who have gotten title matches after their first or second fight in the UFC.
Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-5) fought Rich Franklin (29-7 1NC) for the belt after his UFC debut against Chris Leben (22-10). Jake Shields (28-6-1 1NC) got a shot at the welterweight title after defeating Martin Kampman (20-6) in his fight in the octagon. This was not common practice in just the UFC. When Dan Henderson (29-10) went to Strikeforce, he was immediately given a shot at Shields’ middleweight title. Shinya Aoki (33-6 1NC) had only fought one fight before he fought for the One FC Lightweight championship.
Even if Glover defeats Bader and does not get a title match right away, he could always fight the loser of the Lyoto Machida (19-3) vs. Phil Davis (11-1 1NC) fight, which will happen Aug. 3.
What would you think about Texietira getting a crack at the title? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.