UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell stepped away from the Octagon many years ago following his UFC 115 KO loss to Rich Franklin, which saw him drop his third straight loss. How did Liddell know it was time to retire? In addition to realizing he was past his physical peak, he no longer enjoyed going to the gym and training.
Now, years later, Liddell’s protege, Glover Teixeira, is applying the same philosophy to his own career. Despite being a staple of the UFC’s light heavyweight division, many believe Teixeira to be somewhat of a gatekeeper to the top 3 light heavyweights given his losses to Jon Jones, Phil Davis, and most recently Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.
He spoke to MMAJunkie about his mindset going into his potential #1 contender fight with Alexander Gustafsson on May 28th:
“I’m going to say like (former UFC champ) Chuck (Liddell) used to say: The day I wake up and don’t feel like going to the gym anymore, then that’s the day I’m going to quit fighting,” Teixeira told reporters at today’s UFC Fight Night 109 news conference. “Until then I’m going to keep fighting. … I love this sport, I wish I could do it forever. I know eventually I will have to stop, and hopefully I won’t be one of those fighters that’s knocked out and not so good any more and past their prime and everything. But I’m feeling great so I don’t have a plan to stop yet.”
“With my age and my loss to Johnson I haven’t shown enough,” Teixeira said. “You know the fight game, though. You have a good performance, and everybody thinks you’re ready, you’re going to win the title and be the champion. You lose, and everybody starts doubting you. So from my point of view I don’t feel like the underdog. I feel like I’m going to go over there and take this fight. Otherwise I wouldn’t take the fight. I think (the odds are) fair.”
Teixeira of course currently sits at #3 on the UFC’s official light heavyweight rankings, and could find himself as the light heavyweight #1 contender if he emerges victorious from his scrap with Alexander Gustafsson.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/29/2017.