Teixeira first entered the Octagon at UFC 146 last year, and needed 113 seconds to submit Kyle Kingsbury with an arm-triangle choke. Sixteen months later, the Minas Gerais native has improved his UFC record to 5-0 with four finishes, and a first-round knockout over Ryan Bader earned him a shot at the gold.
Undefeated over the last 20 bouts, Teixeira promises to be ready to go five rounds against the light heavyweight kingpin on April 26 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md.
“In a perfect world, I’ll win via first-round knockout,” Teixeira told MMAFighting.com. “But I believe it’s going to be a tough fight. Jon Jones is an excellent fighter, so I expect a tough bout. I will be ready for five rounds. I was ready to go five rounds against Bader and will be ready now, so we’ll see who will leave the cage as the champion.”
Jones broke the record for most title defenses in the UFC light heavyweight division with his unanimous decision victory over Alexander Gustafsson last September, and Teixeira didn’t predict such a close bout.
“I expected Gustafsson to have the advantage standing, but I expected Jones to be smart and take the fight to the ground,” he said. “He was smart and he tried to (take Gustafsson down), but I didn’t expected Gustafsson to defend the takedowns so well.”
It was a close fight, but Teixeira agreed with the judges.
“When the fight was over, I thought Jon had won,” he said, “and I re-watched it later and scored it to Jones again.”
Gustafsson’s surprising performance against Jones helped Teixeira by showing “new holes” to the champion’s game, as Jones’ previous appearances did.
“We see holes in every fight but this last one showed more,” he said. “But I can’t train focused on that. I have to believe in my boxing and wrestling to impose my game. He’s a super champion and will be back stronger after he studies his own weaknesses. I can’t focus on that.”