32-year-old Brazilian Glover Teixeira didn't start fighting until 10 years ago, after he moved to Connecticut.
He left his impoverished hometown for a better life, working in the USA as a gardner and sending money home.
"At that time, we didn’t have anything," said Teixiera of his youth. "We didn’t even have electricity at our home, no cars, no nothing. It was a small town, a hard life.”
He started working with Chuck Liddell in 2005, and has not lost a fight since. He was signed by ZUFFA in 2009, but visa issues delayed his UFC debut until earlier this year.
Before his fight last night, Liddell offered extraordinary praise.
“Now that he’s finally in the UFC he will make a run at the title very quickly," said Liddlell. "He can beat anyone in the top 5, including Jon Jones.”
With 17 straight wins, including two dominating perfomances in the UFC, there have have been calls for an immediate title shot at UFC Lightheavyweight Jon Jones.
At the UFC 153 post fight press conference, UFC President Dana White slowed things down, at least a little.
“He put on a great fight against a tough guy and I have to give props to him,” said White. “Maldonado was unbelievably tough, and some of the shots he was taking were unbelievable.
“[Teixeira’s] going to have to fight one of the top guys before we start talking about title shots.”
For his part, Teixeira still wants to fight Quinton Jackson, who he was scheduled to fight at UFC 153, before an injury forced "Rampage" off the card.
“I’d like to fight Quinton Jackson,” said Teixeira. “I never talked s--- about him. He was my idol. I loved that guy coming up in Pride, but he says I was talking bad about him. I’m not talking bad about him. I’m not afraid of no man."
“Step in the ring with me, I’ll fight anyone.”
Who do you think Teixeira should fight next?