Glover Teixeira continues to fight his way to another shot at the 205-pound belt.
The 41-year-old defeated Thiago Santos via rear-naked choke at 1:49 of the third round Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, strengthening his case to UFC president Dana White for competing in a title match for the first time in six years.
“Dana White, man,” Teixeira said in his postfight interview. “Come on, man. I’m an old man. I’m here. You’ve gotta give me a shot. … It’s not easy. Give me that title shot, man. Either way, I’m so happy to be here.”
The UFC plans to have light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz fight middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a superfight next year. Blachowicz has said he prefers to fight in March, while Adesanya told ESPN this past week that he expects that Blachowicz will be his next opponent.
White said he now has his eye on Teixeira, too.
“I heard him and I agree with him and I’m taking him serious,” White told the UFC’s Laura Sanko in a backstage interview Saturday. “I’m not gonna doubt him anymore.
“He’s not wrong. … He’s been here forever, he’s on a streak. He looked great tonight. What’s funny is every time I count this guy out and think, ‘I don’t know if he’s got it,’ he proves me wrong. He looked incredible tonight.”
Teixeira (32-7) has won five straight matchups. After fighting longtime former champion Jones Jones for the title in UFC 172 in April 2014, Teixeira is 10-4 since then and has been considered one of the best light heavyweight for most of the last decade. He is now tied for second in victories (15) and is first in finishes (12).
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