Glover Teixeira has a UFC tenure spanning eight years and he’s seen multiple waves of 205ers come and go. Yet despite having nine finishes in the Octagon, Teixeira only has a pair of Performance of the Night bonuses and they both have something in common.
They both came in Florida.
In April 2016, Teixeira had earned his keep in the UFC and was scheduled to fight Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC on FOX: Teixeira vs Evans.
Evans was coming off a loss and desperately searching for the path back to the title. Teixeira was on the rise after two straight victories which cemented his main event status.
Both men came in at 36 years old but there was something about the consistency of Teixeira that made him a solid favorite against Evans. Before the fight started, commentator Mike Goldberg delivered a random tidbit that Teixeira’s hero was Mike Tyson. As fate would have it, the random tidbit turned out to not be so random at all.
Teixeira took the center of the Octagon with control of the pace. The pressure was there for Teixeira and the counter just wasn’t for Evans. As the crowd’s chants of “USA!” began to grow louder, Teixeira landed a left hand and the world went silent for Evans as he collapsed to the canvas just under two minutes in, earning Teixeira an extra $50,000.
Fast forward three years and eleven days and Teixeira was standing across the Octagon from rising star and unleashed pitbull Ion Cutelaba. At 38 years old coming into the bout, Teixeira was running a high risk of being a steppingstone for the 24-year-old “Hulk.”
Before the fight was underway, Cutelaba made one last attempt at mental warfare when he marched across the Octagon to run his thumb across his throat in the face of the 35-fight veteran. The stoic lack of amusement or reaction by Teixeira was a sign of things to come.
After eating a heavy head kick early, Teixeira let his mind take over. Picking shots carefully and denying all that Cutelaba brought to the table was the story for the first half of the first round. Things took an ugly turn when Teixeira ate a spinning backfist that sent him to the canvas, followed by a questionable knee as Teixeira desperately shot for a double leg to regain composure. The veteran knowledge kicked in and Teixeira had control of the fight against the cage.
After the second round saw a minute pass, Cutelaba seemed to be either out of ideas or picking single shots very carefully until Teixeira found himself victim of another questionable strike as a downed opponent. As he looked to the ref for a warning, Cutelaba went for the kill.
Teixeira outlasted the opportunistic flurry and Dominick Cruz made it clear from the commentary table that the fight needed to be taken care of, but before it was an issue again it was over.
Teixeira dropped Cutelaba and immediately outclassed him on the ground, notching the rear-naked choke victory. Hands down, it was the Performance of the Night.
Dominant in one finish, unbroken in the next. There’s something about Glover Teixeira taking the stage in Florida, as the lights seem to shine just a little bit brighter.
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Glover Teixeira vs Rashad Evans: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/39707
Glover Teixeira vs Ion Cutelaba: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/96480