Although Alexander Gustafsson will fight Jon Jones later this month at UFC 165, there are fans and pundits who believe Glover Teixeira is biggest threat to Jones’ reign as light-heavyweight champ. Of course, before Teixeira can even challenge Jones (or Gustafsson) he’ll have to get through Ryan Bader this Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 28, who has defeated some big name vets during his career.
Bader is coming off a quick submission win over Vladimir Matyushenko in January, after getting floored by Lyoto Machida in memorable fashion last August. Prior to the loss, however, “Darth” had scored wins over Jason Brilz and “Rampage” Jackson, the latter of which Teixeira has also defeated. So what does Teixeira think of Bader? While speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently, the 33 year-old vet had this to say about his next opponent:
“He’s a difficult opponent with great wrestling,” Teixeira said. “I think he’ll attempt to impose his wrestling since that’s his strong suit. But his knockout power and submission ability cannot be ignored. He doesn’t have a wide variety of submissions, but they are strong submissions. I think he’s a great athlete, and I think it will be a great fight. Our styles match up well and it will be a good fight for the fans.”
Now if Teixeira wins he will have won five straight bouts since arriving in the UFC, and considering he’s currently ranked #3 in the division (behind Machida who is moving to 185), one would think a title shot could materialize.
“Every victory brings me a step closer to the belt,” Teixeira said. “I’m confident I’ll have an excellent performance. Hopefully I can contend for the belt in 2014.”
It will be interesting to see if Bader can pull off the upset. UFC Fight Night 28 will go down in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and will be broadcast throughout the U.S. on FOX Sports 1.
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