Glover Teixeira is looking better than ever at 40 years young.
The grizzled veteran put on arguably one of his best performances to date with an absolutely savage outing to bloody and batter Anthony Smith in the main event at UFC Jacksonville on Wednesday night.
After showing his toughness to survive a fast start from Smith in the opening rounds, Teixeira powered back to drop the former title contender multiple times before the referee mercifully stopped the contest in the fifth and final round.
“You hear Rocky Balboa say it’s not how hard you it. It’s how hard you get hit and keep coming forward,” Teixeira said following his fourth straight win. “That’s what I’m about, baby!”
While Smith came out guns blazing with a powerful jab and a right hand that continuously caught the Brazilian during several exchanges, Teixeira was just biding his time while avoiding too much damage as he watched his opponent mash down on the gas pedal.
As Smith started getting a little more deliberate with his combinations, Teixeira seized on the opening to then power forward with his own punches that started to truly find a home in the third round. An uppercut rattled Smith but it was a left hand that put him down on the canvas as Teixeira followed him to the floor looking for the finish.
Rather than continuing with his punches, Teixeira started to look for a submission, which seemingly gave Smith just enough breathing room to survive.
Unfortunately for him the punishment only continued as Teixeira just kept coming after him with a relentless offense that never slowed down. At one point between the fourth and fifth rounds, Smith told his corner that he thought his teeth were falling out after absorbing so many punches but he still returned for the final session.
Sixty-four seconds later after Teixeira put him down again, and opened up with a series of jackhammer like shots from the top, referee Jason Herzog had no choice but to stop the carnage.
As soon as he got the win, Teixeira rose up from the ground and walked over to the corner where Daniel Cormier was doing commentary and he shouted “not bad for an old man.”
After suffering through an up and down run in his career where he went 2-3 over five fights, Teixeira has now completely turned things around with four straight wins including three by either knockout or submission. The victory over a top-three ranked contender like Smith puts Teixeira right back in the thick of a title hunt as he continues to seek the toughest opponents the UFC can throw at him.
“I love challenges,” Teixeira said afterwards. “You’ve got to go out and look for help when things start going wrong and that’s what I did. Here I am baby, getting on another run for that title.”
As for Smith, he suffers only his second loss since moving to light heavyweight but this one ended in much more brutal fashion than his title fight against Jon Jones last year. Now Smith will look to regroup following the loss to Teixeira as he moves forward in 2020.