Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson is using Glover Teixeira as inspiration for his return at heavyweight.
Gustafsson is set to face Ben Rothwell at a May 21 Fight Night event. He’s looking to get back in the win column after he announced his retirement following a loss to Fabricio Werdum in July 2020.
Gustafsson is seeking vengeance at heavyweight and is looking to attempt one last potential title run before his career comes to a close. Teixeira, at 42 years old, showed that age may be just a number after he defeated Jan Blachowicz for the 205-pound belt at UFC 267.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Gustafsson reacted to his old rival Teixeira becoming a UFC champion.
“It’s amazing to see,” Gustafsson said of Teixeira earning a UFC title. “He’s a tough dude, man, a really tough dude. It’s very impressive. I saw the fight with [Jan Blachowicz] and he was very impressive, he’s a beast. It wasn’t only me [who beat him], he got a pretty tough beating against Jon Jones and a couple of other guys, and he just comes back. He just goes one direction, he doesn’t care. It’s impressive to see and now he has the belt. All respect to him.
“How old is he, 40? 41? It’s amazing to see. He’s a lot of inspiration for me to see him succeed, it’s crazy to see.”
Teixeira is set to make his first title defense as the champion against Jiří Procházka at UFC 274. He has won six-straight bouts and 7 of his last 8 since falling to Gustafsson in 2017.
Teixeira’s win over Blachowicz was one of the most shocking moments in the UFC in 2021. After watching Teixeira finally realize a championship dream, Gustafsson is looking to replicate his success and potentially earn a title at heavyweight.
What are your predictions for Glover Teixeira and Alexander Gustafsson in 2022?