Undefeated in six years, Glover Teixeira will be looking to extend that streak even further next month, when he takes on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at the October 13 UFC Rio 3 show; but he already has some pretty lofty plans for the medium term.
In an interview by Deb Blyth printed in last month’s GRACIEMAG, the Luigi Mondelli black belt addressed his goals, the ADCC and an obstacle called Quinton Jackson.
Check out the highlights of the interview below. And to make sure you don’t miss out on the best of what’s going on in the Jiu-Jitsu world and the UFC, click here to subscribe to GRACIEMAG and get interviews like this one delivered to your doorstep every month.
GRACIEMAG.com: How is training for your fight with Quinton “Rampage”Jackson going?
GLOVER TEIXEIRA: John Hackleman has been my main MMA coach since 2005. Before him I was straight Jiu-Jitsu. John taught me my striking. I owe everything to him. I have his style. He trains Chuck Liddell. It’s great to train with Chuck. He’s going to help me more closer to my fight against Rampage. He helps me with my sparring. Chuck knows my style more than anybody. He shows me wrestling, striking… He’s very experienced in MMA, so anything he says I believe him. He follows the sport. He’s not stuck back in the old school MMA game. He’s part of the new generation. He comes in with new and different things all the time—things I’ve never seen before. It’s great to have him here. He knows A LOT.
How do you think you match up against Rampage?
Great! We both like to strike, and we both like to control the octagon. It’s a great fight for the fans. People were asking me five years ago to fight him. It’s gonna be a great fight because of our styles. I’m very excited about this fight!
Would you say that you’ve become more of a striker than a grappler now?
No, I consider myself a mixed martial artist. I’ve never trained Jiu-Jitsu for straight competition. I do have my black belt, but when I started Jiu-Jitsu I already had MMA on my mind. I started training because of Royce Gracie. I watched him and wanted to do Jiu-Jitsu. Then, right after, I started wrestling and boxing. But I love No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu. I love ADCC rules and doing the Abu Dhabis. It’s like the UFC of Jiu-Jitsu. You have the best grapplers in the world there, and it’s a great place to test yourself. I would love to do it again.
Was your UFC debut, against Kyle Kingsbury, everything you expected?
When I was in the locker room, I was so happy. I said to my trainers, “This is it guys! This is what we train for. This is the day we’ve been waiting for… the big pay off!” I have fun fighting, no matter what. Yes, it’s the UFC. It’s a big show, with a big crowd. It’s a little more motivational with the crowd getting crazy, but I’m like an old school fighter; I just go and fight. I get in the cage, and if there are two people watching me, I don’t care. I’m excited for the fight, and I’m gonna get the knock out or the submission. I’m only focused on the fight 100%. Fighting in the UFC was different from what I was used to, though. It was so organized. But it doesn’t matter where or when I fight. I just want to fight.
Do you normally have to cut much weight for your fights?
Not too much, but that’s the worst part of any fight. I love to eat. I only had to cut 17 lbs last time. I usually walk around at about 230 lbs. I get down to about 220 lbs about two to three weeks before a fight and then cut the rest the week of. I know exactly the best way to cut weight for me. I’ve been doing this for a long time.
Are you strict about following a game plan or are you more of an intuitive, organic, go-with-the-flow kind of fighter?
You train a little for each fighter, but you’re not going to change your style too much for each guy. It’s the character you possess that’s going to dictate how you fight. So, you set a game plan, but you have to have a different plan for each fighter. You also have to be able to see opportunities as they arise, and that’s why you train so much and spar with so many different guys… good guys—so you learn to see opportunity. Then it’s easy to fill in the gaps. You start believing and you keep going. Experience has helped me develop confidence in my fighting.
What are your strengths compared to Rampage’s
My speed is going to control the pace. I’ll keep pushing him. He’s a tough guy, a great striker with great power. But I’m confident I’m gonna beat him.
If you win, where do you put yourself in line for a title shot?
It’s another step to see what’s going to happen with my manager and Dana White and Joe Silva. Whatever they give me I’ll be happy. The main thing is being the champ. And [Jon Jones] has the title right now, so yeah, I think about it. And I think I match up well against him.
What about you, do you agree with Glover?
UFC 153 – ALDO VS EDGAR
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2012
HSBC ARENA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
José Aldo vs Frankie Edgar
Quinton Rampage vs Glover Teixeira
Jon Fitch vs Erick Silva
Phil Davis vs Wagner Caldeirão
Demian Maia vs Rick Story
Rony Jason vs Sam Sicilia
Gabriel Napão vs Geronimo Mondragon
Diego Brandão vs Joey Gambino
Gleison Tibau vs Francisco Massaranduba
Sergio Moraes vs Renee Forte
Luiz Banha vs Chris Camozzi
Cristiano Marcello vs Reza Madadi