Glover Teixeira admits there’s not much he can say about his most recent performance – an October 2014 loss to Phil Davis – but also thinks he won’t need to explain anything following his weekend meeting with Ovince Saint Preux.
“Of course, there’s nothing I can say against my last fight; all judges saw it for him,” Teixeira told MMAjunkie in his native Portuguese. “It would be funny if I were to complain. I really lost that fight. Truth be told, I was feeling ill during my weight recovery. But I’m not interested in looking for excuses. I’m already prepared for my next fight. But sometimes, right before a fight, something goes wrong.
“I think I had a hard time with my weight cut and recovery because I consumed too much sodium. It was my error. It was something I shouldn’t have been doing, as a professional. I cut too much weight for that fight. But now I’m more focused. I’m walking around lighter, and I’m working on my speed. After the Davis fight, I never got heavier than 230 pounds, not once.”
If Teixeira (22-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is right, he could prove an entirely different animal for Saint Preux (18-6 MMA, 6-1 UFC). The two meet in the headlining bout of UFC Fight Night 73, which takes place Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The main card airs on FOX Sports 1 (10 p.m. ET) following prelims on FOX Sports 2 (8 p.m. ET) and UFC Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET).
Teixeira is currently considered a slight favorite in the contest, but the money has been favoring Saint Preux since the initial announcement. In truth, it’s a closely matched contest that may simply come down to who shows up in better form on Saturday night.
Saint Preux, a Tennessee native, will enjoy home-field advantage for the fight, but Teixeira isn’t concerned with any added challenges.
“Of course, we always want fans to be behind us,” Teixeira said. “A day for the hunter, a day for the prey. I’ve fought at home and won, and I’ve also fought at home and lost. Ultimately, the crowd is not much of a factor.
“We’re just going to get violent. Ovince Saint Preux is a great fighter. It will be a great fight.”
Teixeira enters the fight on a 10-month layoff following a break he took to nurse a knee injury suffered in the Davis fight, as well as the cancellation of a planned bout with Alexander Gustafsson. At 35 years old and on a two-fight losing streak, it seems like an important moment for Teixeira.
Meanwhile, Saint Preux is an impressive 7-1 in his past eight contests and after wins over Patrick Cummins and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is now looking to firmly establish himself as a legitimate title contender.
Still, with much apparently at stake, Teixeira sees it as just another day at the office, regardless of what’s on the line.
“Of course, it’s a very important fight for the two of us,” Teixeira said. “We have to train hard and perform for the fans. Whether I’m coming off a win or a loss, each time I want to show a new Glover Teixeira. I want to demonstrate that I can fight for the belt again – and win it.
“Saint Preux moves very well. He has great punching power. My strategy is the same as always – I’ll maintain constant pressure and see where the fight goes. I’d rather strike with him. But he’s a guy who also likes takedowns. He even took Ryan Bader down. He has good jiu-jitsu. He’s pretty complete. But so am I. Once we meet, we’ll separate the men from the boys.”
Both men are certainly capable of ending the fight at any moment, so the headlining bout has the potential for fireworks. But even more so, it seems to be the type of fight that could have much influence on the future of both men’s careers.
Teixeira is ready to make the most of the opportunity.
“Coming off two losses just gives me extra incentive,” Teixeira said. “I don’t really worry. I love this sport. I fight because I enjoy it. I love stepping into the octagon and banging it out with my opponents. It’s what I enjoy. I don’t know – I think I was born for this.
“Losses matter, but they don’t bother me too much since I give my best. Against Phil Davis, I was more disappointed due to some matters related to weight. But against Jon Jones, I gave my maximum. If it wasn’t enough, then I just keep moving on. I’m very motivated for my next fight. I’m lighter. I’m healthy. I’m fast. I’m moving well. I’m working on what needed to be improved. I’m highly motivated. I’ll beat that guy.”