At UFC 275, Glover Teixeira and Jiří Procházka took part in what may now be the current frontrunner for Fight of the Year in the main event of the evening. It was a back-and-forth and action-filled fight that was going Teixeira’s way with the scorecards in his favor as the fight winded down with less than a minute remaining.
Then suddenly, the wildman striker Jiří Procházka shocked the world by submitting second-degree black belt and grappling legend Glover Teixeira.
Teixeira’s championship win last October at UFC 267 was viewed as one of the most inspirational moments in promotion history. At 42 years old, Teixeira was able to finally reach the summit of the UFC’s light heavyweight division after a grueling 19-year journey.
“We got hit a little bit there, but I gave my best in this fight,” Teixeira said. “But the hand came in the neck, I was very tired, and I think I didn’t believe [in the submission]. I should have turned, but now it’s too late to cry over spilled milk. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
“I gave my best and it wasn’t enough, but let’s go for the next one. Thank you to all of you that root for me for the support. I’m fine, just a few cuts, but let’s go.”
It is unclear what the immediate future holds for Teixeira or the new champion Procházka. Teixeira has already floated the idea of a rematch after dropping the title, to which Procházka has already responded with a solemn vow.
Other possible names in title contention are Jan Blachowicz, Magomed Anakalaev, and Anthony Smith.
Teixeira had assured Blachowicz that he would receive a title shot if he were to retain the title over Procházka at UFC 275. Blachowicz returned to the win column with an injury-stoppage victory over Aleksandar Rakić in March. As for Ankalaev and Smith, they will compete next month at UFC 277.
Should the promotion go the direction of an immediate rematch, however, there probably won’t be too many fans moaning at having to “sit through” another Teixeira vs. Procházka encounter after the battle of the ages that transpired at UFC 275.
Do you believe Glover Teixeira will recapture the light heavyweight championship before he retires?