Glover Teixeira has seemingly done it all. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has flirted with retirement in the past. Gearing up to fight for gold again, is he ready to ride into the sunset anytime soon?
Teixeira faces off against Jahamal Hill for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 283 on January 21. The event takes place inside Jeunesse Arena in his backyard in Brazil.
The Brazilian won the light heavyweight title against Jan Blachowicz in October 2021. Losing it against Jiri Prochazka in June in what was the Fight of the Year, the two were supposed to compete in a rematch at UFC 282. However, Prochazka backed out and relinquished the belt after suffering a shoulder injury.
Given a chance to fight someone else, Teixeira refused a fight against Magomed Ankalaev on short notice. Ankalaev faced Blachowicz for the belt, but the bout was scored a split decision draw. Teixeira was then announced the next contender, with Hill, on a three-fight win streak, named as his opponent.
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How old is Glover Teixeira?
Teixeira is 43 years old and will turn 44 on October 28.
UFC 283 will be the 23rd fight for Teixeira (33-8) in the UFC, with a career that started in 2002. Already 16-6 with the promotion, a win could result in him becoming a two-time UFC light heavyweight champion.
What will Teixeira do next following a win or a loss?
Will Glover Teixeira retire following UFC 283?
Teixeira has teased retirement for years now. Recently, he stated that his “perfect plan” would have been to beat Prochazka at UFC 275 and then fight inside New York’s Madison Square Garden.
With Prochazka beating him, plans changed. Teixeira’s motivation has been about competing more than anything else. He stated on The MMA Hour that he is not doing it for the money. He also said, “I want to retire from the sport, I don’t want the sport to retire me.”
Now that he is fighting for gold again, retirement is the last thing on his mind. He has a new mindset, one that is not clouded by doubt.
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“It definitely won’t be any retirement now,” Teixeira told MMA Fighting. “Someone asked me back then, ‘Do you think one more fight, and then defend your belt at Madison Square Garden [and retire]?’ I said ‘Who knows.’ If this weekend, especially what happened to me, hasn’t taught me anything… I never make plans for the future. I live in the present. I don’t have such plans, ‘I’ll retire at that date.’ The day I retire will be the day I’m training poorly, when I don’t want to go to the gym anymore.
“I had moments like that back in the day,” he continued. “I was dealing with injuries, I was down. When I lost to Corey Anderson I thought, ‘F—, I’ll fight one more, and if I lose, I’ll retire.’ But then I was happy again, new gym, changing a few things, and being happy as f—. I love to be training and fighting. You saw my last fight, the one with Jiri. We see the level I’m fighting. It’s intense. My fight is intense, and that’s why people can’t keep up with it.”
During UFC 283 media day, Teixeira once again talked about his future. He is motivated to prove he is not past his prime, stating he looked up to fighters like Randy Couture and Dan Henderson during his career. For right now, he is living in the moment.
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“I want to keep fighting for a long time.’ Yes, because there’s no plans to lose this fight. I’m not thinking, ‘Oh, if I lose…’ I’m thinking if I win the belt, I’m going to defend it. That’s my thought right now. I’m not really (letting a loss) go into my mind and retire right now. I’m in my prime now,” Teixeira stated, via MMA Junkie.
Teixeira is ready for anything at UFC 283. The most important thing is him having his hands raised once more. That will be the first step towards the end of a long journey in the sport.
After that? The MMA world will have to wait and see.