Glover Teixeira knows he can’t fight forever, but that doesn’t mean he’s putting an expiration date on his career.
Ahead of his first title defense as light heavyweight champion at UFC 275, the 42-year-old Brazilian recently said his “perfect plan” would be to defeat Jiri Prochazka on June 11 and then fight for retirement. at Madison Square Garden in New York. York City later this year.
While there’s a chance that’s exactly how things go, Teixeira clarified his statement on MMA hour and explained how much time he has left in the sport.
“Look, I didn’t say that for sure,” Teixeira said. “If there is a perfect [plan], it would be if I won this fight – of course I’m confident, but the thing is, when you ask me a question long before I walk into camp, it’s almost like I’ll fight once again more. But when I’m at camp right now, I’m a lion. You have to come see my training. Then you’ll see, and you’re probably not even going to ask that question about retirement. Because the way I’ve been training, the way I feel, the way camp has been going lately, I’m so happy with everything.
“Finally, I want to retire. I said the perfect scenario was to beat this guy in Singapore and hopefully fight Jan [Blachowicz] at Madison Square Garden in November, then call it a day. But I don’t want to make such a decision. I think it’s a possibility, but I don’t want to [say]”Oh, I’m going to retire this year, or a few more fights, or this and that.”
The biggest problem for Teixeira is declaring that he is going to retire, only to change his mind, whether after a fight or a few months later. He views Olympic gold medalist and former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo as a prime example of how he doesn’t want to deal with the end of his career.
“I don’t want to make a call and be desperate later,” Teixeira explained. “I even mentioned Henry Cejudo. Nothing against the guy, I like the kid, but you see him retired [and] he knows he wants to come back. He knows he has more. I don’t want to make this decision like that, but it would be a possibility, yes.
Teixeira’s motivation at the moment is on the competition itself rather than a financial obligation to stay because he is making money in the league. While a high salary is never a bad thing, he promises it hasn’t been a driving force for a long time, which is why he’s able to make a clear-headed decision on something as monumental as retirement. .
“I don’t do it for the money,” he said. “I did it for the championship. Like I keep telling people, we’ve worked so hard in our lives fighting for nothing, but now we’re making a lot of money and walking away [is hard]. You have to look around. Why is my life better? Why do I need more?
“It’s definitely not for the money. I’m fighting right now because I’m the champion – I want to defend this title. »
At some point, Teixeira knows he will have to stop. Because he’s been in the sport for so long, he’s seen firsthand how some fighters stay on too long. It damages them physically and mentally, not to mention what it does to their legacy. That’s why he dreams of being at the top.
But more than anything, retirement always comes down to timing.
“I love the fight, I love the game,” Teixeira said. “I like camp life to prepare for a fight, but I’m also 42 and 43. It’s time to start thinking about it. I want to retire from sport, I don’t want sport to retire me.
“You see Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I take my hat off to Khabib when he retired at the top. There is no money motivation. He makes 10, 20 million dollars, they offer him so much money, but he won’t come back. He finished. He doesn’t want to do it anymore. It will be me. The day I don’t want to do it anymore [I will retire]. The day I don’t want to start is when I’m going to be done.