Glover Teixeira returned to the win column with a third-round submission over Ovince Saint Preux in August, and wants to keep the momentum going against Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night 77 on Nov. 7.
“It was really important for me,” Teixeira told MMAFighting.com of his win over Saint Preux. “I was really focused for that fight, and everything worked out perfect. And that’s the plan for this next fight. Not only win, but to put on on a great performance. It’s not about finishing the fight, it’s about showing the fans a difference, that I’m a better fighter now.”
Cummins also bounced back from a loss in his last appearance inside the Octagon, finishing former Strikeforce 205-pound champion Rafael Cavalcante via TKO at UFC 190. Aware of his opponent’s dangerous wrestling, Teixeira believes Cummins will avoid a striking battle and go for takedowns in Sao Paulo.
“I really expect that,” he said. “That’s his style, and he’s good at it, but I can’t underestimate his hands. I have to train hard for everything, but I think he will try to take me down.”
Knocked out only once in his career, when he fought Eric Schwartz in his MMA debut 13 years ago, Teixeira won’t expect an easy win if he gets the chance to trade punches with Cummins, who suffered both of his losses via TKO.
“I won’t say a word about anyone’s chin,” Teixeira said. “I’m going to test his chin, but I won’t talk about it now. I have to see it to believe it. I’ll answer this question after the fight [laughs]. He’s fought some tough guys. Saint Preux is really dangerous, and (Daniel) Cormier is the champion, so he lost to two tough fighters.
“I believe I’m the favorite because I have more fights in the UFC, and I fought better competition, but that doesn’t matter. I have to see this fight as it was a title fight, and that’s why I’m training for five rounds.”
Gunning for another shot at the title a year and a half after losing to Jon Jones via decision at UFC 172, the Brazilian light heavyweight won’t be surprised if he has to beat more opponents en route to a another championship bout.
“I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s up to them. I will fight, put on a great performance, and wait for the call,” he said. “If they give me the title shot, I will do my best. If they give me other fight, I will fight hard, no problem.”