Age ain’t nothing but a number to Glover Teixeira.
It was an awe-inspiring performance from Teixeira after he secured a takedown against the cage, flattened out Blachowicz and then sunk in the rear naked choke to get the submission at 3:02 in the second round.
“I have no words to describe,” Teixeira said after UFC President Dana White wrapped the title around his waist. “I was thinking of so many things to say to you. I thought about what I’m going to say and I don’t have it. I’m breaking the rules. 42 years old and I’m going to keep breaking those rules.”
It was a strong showing from beginning to end from Teixeira, who had a specific game plan in mind to stay away from Blachowicz’s power, which worked out perfectly in the end.
As soon as he was released from the corner, Teixeira moved forward with a purpose in order to close the distance and get the takedown to put Blachowicz on the ground. Inside the guard, Teixeira was peppering away with small strikes including a couple well placed elbows while just grinding away at Blachowicz, who was just stuck underneath him.
Following a tough start, Blachowicz started to let his hands go, which resulted in several shots slipping through and popping Teixeira on the chin. Unlike the first round, Blachowicz was better prepared for the wrestling attacks as he began cracking Teixeira with some hard punches but he still wasn’t really hurting the Brazilian yet.
That allowed Teixeira to still move forward and he was throwing with just as much power, which led to a left hook catching Blachowicz and putting him on wobbly legs for a moment.
Teixeira then seized on that opportunity to move inside and then grab into the takedown, which brought Blachowicz into his world on the ground yet again. This time, Teixeira had no intention of allowing Blachowicz to get up again as he advanced to take the back and slip his arm under the chin to lock up the submission.
As soon as the rear naked choke was on tight, Blachowicz tapped the canvas and Teixeira became the second oldest UFC champion in history behind only Randy Couture, who held the heavyweight title at 45.
“Jan is a tremendous champion,” Teixeira said. “He’s a hard working man. I love this man. He has my respect forever.
“I love this. This is my house. I’ve been here before. This is my house. I love this. Never give up on your dreams. No matter what people. Don’t listen to those negative people. Believe in yourself.”
It was barely three years ago that Teixeira suffered a lopsided loss to Corey Anderson to drop his record to 2-3 over five fights, and it appeared that perhaps his best days were behind him. That’s when the ageless wonder built an improbably five-fight win streak before earning a sixth victory in a row to become champion in the UFC 267 main event.
As for Blachowicz, he offered no excuses for his defeat while promising to come back stronger after losing the UFC title to Teixeira on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
“Everything goes wrong with me,” Blachowicz said when reacting to his loss. “I think I left the legendary Polish power in the hotel room. This is not the end of the story. This book is not closed. I’m not a quitter. I’m not going anywhere. I will come back for sure.”