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Glover Teixeira: 'You're gonna have to mention my name' among top light heavyweight contenders

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Glover Teixeira bellowed "I'm back!" to the crowd after his big win. And he doubled down on that sentiment in the post-fight press conference.

Teixeira came away with an impressive, resurgent win over Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of UFC Fight Night 73 on Saturday in Nashville. The Brazilian dominated Saint Preux on the ground in the second and third rounds, culminating in a rear-naked choke submission win. OSP refused to tap -- Teixeira put him to sleep.

"With the division the way it is right now, you mention the top contenders you're gonna have to mention my name," Teixeira said. "I'm there. We'll see what the organization does."

He's not wrong. Even after two lackluster losses, Teixeira remains one of the elite light heavyweights on the planet. And in a UFC world that doesn't currently contain Jon Jones, Teixeira might only be another emphatic win away from a second title shot.

Teixeira (23-4) fell to Jones by unanimous decision at UFC 172 in April 2014. He was dominated again by Phil Davis in a unanimous decision at UFC 179 last October. But in that latter fight, Teixeira said he really struggled with his weight cut and rehydrating after it.

"I keep making excuses for the last fight, but the thing is the weight cut was horrible," Teixeira said. ... "I believe 50 percent of some fighters wouldn't fight in the situation I was in last fight. It was a bad feeling. The whole day of recovering was a bad day."

Teixeira, 36, said he refocused on strength and conditioning for this camp at his gym in Danbury, Conn., and it made a world of difference. Teixeira was able to keep his cardio up as he took Saint Preux down repeatedly and dominated him on the ground from top position.

"I have a dream, it's to be a champion," Teixeira said. "My dream is not thrown into the water, because I had a little slack. I told OSP today, he fought the best I've ever been. I'm not denying that. I'm in the best shape of my life. I felt better in this fight than ever."

Teixeira came into this bout ranked No. 4 among UFC light heavyweight contenders and he's already beaten the man directly above him, Ryan Bader. One more victory -- perhaps over the winner of a big fight at UFC 191 between Anthony Johnson and Jimi Manuwa -- could potentially earn Teixeira a title shot. And Teixeira called out current champion Daniel Cormier in his post-fight interview with Jon Anik.

"Cormier, I told you before," Teixeira said. "I'm coming for you, baby."

Teixeira is obviously still very confident in his abilities. He remains one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division. And perhaps the biggest key has been something that isn't physical at all. Teixeira said he never got down after falling to Jones and Davis.

"I don't put much pressure on myself, because I'm strong mentally," he said. "Things happen. I'm not fighting pushovers over there."