Former UFC and PRIDE heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira believes Glover Teixeira will become the latest Brazilian to win UFC gold this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking on a recent episode of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, “Minotauro” explained why he expects Teixeira to dethrone Jan Blachowicz in the main event of UFC 267, which goes down on Saturday at Etihad Arena.
“Glover has become a more complete fighter,” Nogueira said. “The cycle of his career, getting to the title once and losing to Jon Jones, and then losing two in a row, and getting his career back together on a good run, beating great names of the division, submitting several opponents … Glover was more of a striker before, and now he has the striking and the wrestling, super mature as a fighter and always reinventing himself.”
Teixeira started his MMA career training with Chuck Liddell and then began working with former UFC heavyweight contender Pedro Rizzo in Rio de Janeiro before moving back to the United States and opening his own team in Danbury, Conn.
Nogueira praises Teixeira’s decision to partner with “the best striker today” in Alex Pereira, a former two-division kickboxing champion in GLORY who recently joined the UFC light heavyweight roster.
Teixeira enters UFC 267 coming off five straight wins over the likes of Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith, both of whom he finished on the ground.
“I think he’s super prepared for this fight,” Nogueira said. “I think he’s good enough to trade with Jan Blachowicz, who’s dangerous due to his speed but not his technique. Glover is more technical than him, but Blachowicz is very fast with his hands. But in the grappling area, no doubt, Glover is way better than him. I expect an arm-triangle choke submission.”