Dubai: The 41-year-old Glover Teixeira continued his UFC renaissance in impressive fashion with a monumental third-round submission over No. 1 ranked light-heavyweight Thiago Santos in the main event at Las Vegas on Saturday night (UAE Sunday).
But to do so the Brazilian needed to survive a second-round-and-early-third-round onslaught from Santos to secure the win with his top-draw grappling game.
Teixeira (32-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) extended his winning streak to five consecutive wins while Santos (21-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) was suffering his second consecutive defeat having lost to champion Jon Jones in July.
The win was the 27th career finish for Teixeira, and the fighter who got his light-heavyweight title shot in 2014 is now looking for another chance in 2021.
“Five fights in a row beating the same guys, it’s not easy,” he said in his post-fight interview. “Give me the title shot, man.”
Santos appeared to have Teixeira in serious trouble early in the third round when he dropped him with a big left hook and then continued his assault on the mat.
But his conditioning started to show as he tired. Teixeira sensed the opportunity and reversed position on Santos. Once assuming control, he got in a tight rear-naked choke forcing Santos to tap.
Newly crowned UFC light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz who was watching the UFC Vegas 13 headliner took to twitter to say: “Great fight and incredible run by @gloverteixeira. You totally deserve to fight for the title and get taste of the #LegendaryPolishPower. If Adesanya can’t wait till March, let’s go !”
Jones, who vacated the 205-pound title earlier this year in order to move up to heavyweight, had a lot to say on Twitter, including giving Teixeira a ton of praise and even said “Glover’s the new GOAT!”
Meawile another MMA veteran Andrei Arlovski scored a significant win defeating Canada’s Tanner Boser by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). He now has 19 wins in the UFC.
Elsewhere on the card, No. 4 strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha was beaten by No. 8 ranked Yan Xiaonan by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Xiaonan controlled the entire fight, landing more significant strikes (63) to Gadelha’s (33). The Chinese fight now has the longest active win streak in the UFC strawweight division with six.