In the gym with UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Glover Teixeira before defending his title at UFC 275.
Danbury, Connecticut – On a quiet country road lined with big trees and small businesses, Teixeira MMA & Fitness is the home gym of UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Glover Teixeira. UFC champions usually train privately, under lock and key away from the watchful eyes and potential spies. They close their sessions, even for many members of their gym, to give the sole focus of the man or woman with the belt on.
Glover is not like the other UFC champions.
He not only opens his gym to a member of the MMA media with a camera and podium (me), but continues to train everyone in the gym, along with getting ready to defend the title.
On the first day of my visit, Glover told me he hated doing interviews but hated canceling them even more, which immediately put me at ease. He was nervous like me.
I watched and filmed several training sessions while in town, everything from strength and conditioning to fighting to sparring. Every day, Glover gave me the full authority to document everything – something else that wouldn’t normally be done for UFC champions.
“Glover is humble: He’s become a champ at this age, and we don’t walk around like he’s a champ. Nothing has changed. He gives 100 percent of himself.” said his coach Fernley Phillies Sr., who showed up to hold the pads before Glover left town for the LFA fight.
“Modest” is the word I might use to describe Glover. Despite earning a UFC title, he still works and acts like the same fighter he has been throughout his career. After all, that’s what got him to his place.
“Normal camp does what I like to do,” Glover told me. “I do what I like to do, and I won’t change. It doesn’t matter if it’s a title fight or if it’s a title defense with the title. It doesn’t matter because I trained the same way.” [as] Those guys who train amateurs. I tell them the same mentality. same way. Of course, I’m training less now that I’ve trained before when I was fighting junior shows or even the UFC when I first started because of age and knowledge, but the same. Me, no [stress]. I just do what I love to do.”
Glover Teixeira says teaching his secrets forces him to ‘upgrade my game’
While enjoying a meal after training, Glover tells me the story of a businessman sitting in his ergonomically cornered desk stocking up on all the secrets he’s learned throughout his career, terrified of losing his footing at the top. He says it’s wrong: this guy will never know he’s really the best at what he’s done because there was no one to challenge him to be better. That’s why Glover remains a consistent coach. His students get better powers for him to become better.
“I think all teachers are…that’s how they should be,” he said. “You know, you have to teach the students to be good at defense. You teach them the philosophy, the way to eat good food, the way to become stronger, the way to defend all techniques, especially my favorite techniques. It’s very funny because my favorite techniques, are the techniques that I do the most Teach it. Defend that, because now I have to do something else because they know how to do it; they know how to defend, and I have to improve my game.”
Glover continued, “A lot of people… are selfish, and I’ve seen this before. They don’t share everything because they’re like ‘If I train you guys, maybe eventually you want my warrior,’ you know? We never know… as You’ll see this in a big team. But for me, I don’t know. I just have to get better and prove it. I’ve been doing this since I fought Jon Jones. I opened my own gym. My coach and my fight team came here and helped me and we got a system, as Learn “.
But staying as a coach while still competing at a high level also has its downsides. Coaches will bear student losses in mind, and the pressure of a turn can be too much for someone who also has to deal with their own fighting stress.
But not Glover.
“I don’t stress that,” he said. “At first, I had problems [coaching and training] With my students fighting, as I was getting very nervous and very anxious. And when they lose, it hurts so much. And I feel so bad. But I’m going to work on it because that’s something I’m working on in combat. I don’t feel too upset. The highest level in a fight, the lowest level in a fight. But I don’t understand [too emotional]. I don’t let that hold me for long, you know. What happened has happened.”
Glover will step in to defend his Light Heavyweight title and work towards becoming the oldest champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship history. But no matter the date, there is also talk of retirement looming, depending on the outcome of his UFC 275 match.
Either way, I’ll be fine,” Glover said. “But I’ll try this. If it works, I’ll do it. I already did it. I was there. I really went to the UFC. I fought everyone and fought for the title, so you know, it was good, man. I was so happy to be in the UFC, and then after That I was in the UFC, like, I opened a gym, and it was like, “I’m going to try this.” We’re going to teach my fight team and now people start coming in and all the UFC fighters are starting to come down and train with us because they’ve seen it. They see results and keep doing the thing. Himself. I love him.”
Glover will face Jiří Procházka on Saturday 11 June 2022, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.