Glover Teixeira Saga: From Illegal Immigrant to UFC Belt Dream at 42 | the battle

At the same time, when the story of Glover Teixeira is mixed with the history of dozens of people, it is unique. With a past worthy of Hollywood screens, the Sobralia miner had to overcome many obstacles, including part of a life as an illegal immigrant after he made the perilous crossing through Mexico to reach the United States. Next Saturday, two days after he turns 42, he’s looking for the icing on the cake, as he defines it: the UFC light heavyweight belt.

Former U.S. Illegal Glover Teixeira Goes in Search of UFC Light Heavyweight Belt

Long before dreaming of fighting Jan Blachowicz for the 93kg title at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, when he was just 19 years old, Glover embarked on an adventure that could have come at a cost. After receiving an offer from a cousin to emigrate to the United States, he left the Assembly and went in search of a new life.

The route of entry to the United States passed through Colombia and Guatemala before arriving in Tijuana, Mexico to cross the border with the help of so-called “coyotes”, criminals who sell the illegal crossing. In a Mexican city, they had to wait several days for fog to set in and hamper the work of authorities trying to prevent immigrants from entering the US illegally.

– We went to Colombia, walked down the street, waited, even made some tourist places there. But then we moved to Guatemala, stopped on the island, and then crossed it by car, passing several ferries to Mexico, and crossed all of Mexico until we reached Tijuana. In Tijuana we are waiting for the crossing to San Diego. The crossing took about six hours. I crossed the desert with coyotes and it was only six hours (from Tijuana to San Diego, USA). Then we stayed in San Diego, waiting for the guy to send a ticket to Connecticut. They waited 13 days in San Diego and I couldn’t leave the room, the fighter said in an interview with the publication. spectator sports.

Glover Teixeira will get a second chance to win the UFC belt next Saturday – Photo: Getty Images

The arrival, however, had its setbacks. Fearing that the coyotes would put something illegal in his backpack – the only luggage he took on the trip and which contained only clothes – Glover chose to leave him and arrive in the US with nothing under the pretext of “where I go, the clothes are cheap”

Glover Teixeira in an interview with SporTV: The Brazilian won the last five fights – Photo: Evelyn Rodriguez

From San Diego, he went to Boston, and then to the small town of Danbury, where he lives to this day. There, he spent most of his time gardening and training only with weights. Two years later, at 120kg, a friend showed him a UFC 1 tape of Royce Gracie victories and opened Glover’s eyes to a whole new world. And when a fine arts practitioner introduced him to jiu-jitsu, he was shocked by the reality.

– I went and caught the guy in the tie, jiu-jitsu, who was there in the doorman’s tie, but he managed to grab me by the back and finish me off, and I went crazy. How did this guy this tall get me here? There I started. I already knew about the academy. When he showed me the tape, the other day I went to the gym. I started already focused on fighting in the UFC. I watched the first three UFC tournaments, and that’s where this passion came from. I never left. I remember exactly, I think it was in September 2001, I was supposed to be 22 years old. People kept saying that I was a bit old, at the time when Vitor Belfort was already fighting, he was a little older than me, but they said: “This Vitor Belfort is 24 years old, but the guy is already a champion, the guy started at 6 years old. Are you going to start now? You will never have a chance.” These are the little things we hear, right? he recalled.

Also in late 2001, Glover met Ingrid Peterson, whom he married the following year. And the American plays a fundamental role for a fighter to get to where he is today. After a good start to his MMA career, he went on to record seven wins and two losses in the US and attracted UFC interest in 2008. However, since he was illegal in the country, he could not be hired by the organization.

Glover Teixeira and his wife Ingrid Peterson – Photo: Personal archive

Teixeira tried to get a visa to settle his stay in the country, but was refused. The solution was to return to Brazil and wait for a pardon from the United States government so that he could return legally. His country had a three and a half year wait and another 10 wins in a row until December 23, 2011, a date that makes Glover cry whenever he remembers. It was the birthday of his wife, who secured her husband’s release in an emotional letter to a senator from Connecticut.

– Every time I talk about Ingrid… Because she wrote the letter, I cried when I read the letter she sent… I knew that she wrote a touching letter to the senator as an American citizen who suffered and she said that as she wrote, her tears fell on the letter because she said, “I want my husband to be here.” And on December 23, the guys scored. I said this: “F***, old man.” December 23, 2011, the day of her (Ingrid’s) birthday. I’m worried because she sent a letter to the senator, man. And the sons of *** scored it on her birthday.

– It was too good, it changed my life. She went there because the interview was scheduled for December 23rd. Until now, we didn’t know anything. On the day of the interview, we went there and the guy didn’t even say anything. He said: “Welcome to the country, you will receive your passport in five days. Five to ten days at your home. I immediately spoke to Ed (Soares, manager).

With the issue resolved, Ed Soares contacted the UFC, who immediately signed Glover to a contract. The idea was for the Brazilian to make his debut in the organization in January in Brazil, but there was no time for an agreement, and the fighter entered the octagon for the first time in May 2012 against Kyle Kingsbury. With high expectations, he did what was expected and finished in the first round.

Prior to his first title fight seven years ago against Jon Jones, there were five wins in Ultimate. Glover went on a 20-fight unbeaten streak, but ultimately fell to the then-champion and won via unanimous decision.

– I think there were a lot of desires, and sometimes a lot of anxiety, a lot of thinking. I put a lot of pressure on one thing. I don’t think I was ready. It wasn’t the time, but I put a lot of pressure on something that wasn’t that important. The belt is significant, of course, in my career, but not in life. It doesn’t define my life. It defines my career, but my life won’t change with or without the belt. So I think I’m more prepared for that today. I also have a boyfriend who has proven to be the best of all time, right? And that too, so what are you going to say if it was Glover today, I would win? Only if you fight again to see. Maybe it wasn’t the time and I really believe it. I believe that we should be ready to get what we want.

Glover’s streak after losing to Jones was uneven until July 2018, when he added four losses and five wins to his record. Since 2019, at the age of 39, the Brazilian has reinvented himself and proved he still has firewood. He has won five consecutive victories and has qualified for a title fight this Saturday in the main event of UFC 267 against champion Jan Blachowicz.

– I’m on guard with Jan Blachowicz, he’s a smart guy who also learned how to train, there were ups and downs in his career, he adapted there, it’s clear that he is a guy who fights smarter now. But we already know, we have already seen that it is possible to go through it and the path of stones. I will break it until it breaks. I pull, I pull, but the guys break, the guys cannot withstand the load. And, of course, I have to be aware that the man hits hard, but I’ll get there, I’ll put it, good girl. I also hit hard. I train a lot in boxing, I wrestle a lot, I train a lot and I feel very good. I feel like a champion,” he assured.

Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz to headline UFC next Saturday – Photo: Infoesporte

The belt may not define who Glover Teixeira is, but reaching the top of the UFC is still a dream come true since he saw Royce Gracie win early tournaments as a youngster.

– I am very happy with my career, and this belt will end my career in a big way, right? Of course, who doesn’t want to be a champion? But I am a fighter. Look at my wars, look at my fights, of course it’s like the icing on the cake, right? This is the icing on the cake because I am very happy with my career and my professional life. As for the belt, this is what we need.

And, if he becomes champion next Saturday, Glover promises a celebration in both Danbury and Assembly.

– Baby, I don’t know. There will definitely be a lot of beer. The mayor of Danbury has already announced that he will arrange a procession through the city and close Danbury. Who knows, maybe we will invite a country singer to celebrate? The congregation is already waiting there. This will be the first trip abroad. I’m coming to Danbury, this is my home, but the Assembly is waiting for me there, he concluded.

O The battle broadcasts UFC 267 live and exclusively next Saturday from 11:10 am (Brazil time). In the same time, SportTV 3 e combate.com display “combat warming“and the first two fights, the site follows the events in real time. The battle e SportTV 3 show the press conference on Thursday at 12:30 and the weigh-in on Friday at 10:00.

UFC 267
October 30, 2021 Fight Island (Abu Dhabi)
MAIN MAP (15:00 Brazil time):
Light Heavyweight: Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira
Peso halo: Petr Jan x Corey Sandhagen
Peso Lev: Islam Makhachev x Dan Hooker
Heavyweight: Alexander Volkov x Marcin Tybura
Welterweight: Li Jingliang vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Light Heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Ozdemir
PRELIMINARY MAP (11:30 a.m. Brazil time):
Minimum Weight: Amanda Ribas vs. Virna Jandiroba
Featherweight: Ricardo Carcasinha vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Middleweight: Albert Duraev vs. Roman Kopylov
Welterweight: Eliseu Capoeira vs. Benoit Sait-Denis
Light heavyweight: Shamil Gamzatov vs Michal Olekseychuk
Peso foam: Makvan Amirkhani x Leron Murphy
Middleweight: Hu Yaozong vs. Andre Petroski
Peso-leve: Magomed Mustafaev x Damir Ismagulov
Flyweight: Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Allan Pure Bone

The dispute for the belt with Glover Teixeira and the duel of the Brazilian squadron! It is only available in Combate – Photo: Combate

The dispute for the belt with Glover Teixeira and the duel of the Brazilian squadron! It’s only alive in combat

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