Speaking today to MMAjunkie.com Radio, Teixeira (22-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who knocked out Ryan Bader earlier on Aug. 28 at UFC Fight Night 28, believes Jones (18-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) will beat title challenger Alexander Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in next week’s UFC 165 main event.
“I believe Jon is going to win this fight,” Teixeira said. “I hope he wins. I think he’s going to win on the ground. I believe Gustafsson’s a great standup fighter, and I think Jon is smart enough and a better wrestler to take him down and beat him on the ground. I don’t know how.
“It might be ground and pound, or maybe a submission, but I don’t think this fight is going to go five rounds.”
Teixeira knows a thing or two about quick finishes. Since debuting in the UFC in May 2012, he’s gone to the scorecards only once in five fights, and just four times overall in his pro career.
His penchant for action-packed fights nearly cost him against Bader, who knocked him down early in their fight and appeared close to earning a finish. In a come-from-behind push, Teixeira caught “The Ultimate Fighter 8″ winner with a counter and got the TKO win.
Afterward, the Brazilian fighter, who was unable to fight in the U.S. for several years because of visa troubles, vented about his performance.
“When you fight the way you want to fight, and you get caught with a punch and get knocked out, it’s OK,” Teixeira said. “But I wasn’t fighting my way. I wasn’t moving my head right, and I was waiting too much. That day, I started waiting too much, and I got punched before I started punching. So that’s why was I was (upset). It’s not about getting knocked down. It’s about doing something wrong.
“I’m over it. I’m happy, and I’ve just got to realize I made a mistake, and it’s not going to happen again.”
And in any event, the performance, which headlined the night’s FOX Sports 1 broadcast in Brazil, was enough for the UFC to award Teixeira the next title shot against the winner of Jones vs. Gustafsson. Although Teixeira anticipates he’ll be fighting Jones, he said he would be open to fighting a top contender if Gustafsson were to pull off the upset and force an immediate rematch.
“I want to stay busy,” Teixeira said. “I want to fight [Jones]. He’s the bigger name, and he’s been champion for a while. If Gustafsson beats this guy, I’ll be happy for him, too, as long as I get to fight him. Or if they have a rematch, I’d like to fight some top contender and keep myself busy. I’m healthy, and I can’t be losing time.”
But he said he had a smile on his face when he was asked about the possibility of fighting Jones in February at the UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend event, which is expected to take place in New Jersey rather than Las Vegas. Jones hails from nearby New York.
“I think that’s a great thing, and I hope you’re right,” Teixeira said of the potential timeline for his title shot.
Jones currently is a 7-1 favorite to beat Gustafsson at the Sept. 21 event, which takes at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and airs live on pay-per-view.
Whomever he meets, Teixeira said he’ll take lessons learned from his fight with Bader into his next appearance.