UFC 275: Glover Teixeira 1-on-1 with Kevin Iole

UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira joins Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole ahead of Saturday's UFC 275 where he'll be defending his title for the first time against Jiri Prochazka.

Video transcript

KEVIN IOLE: Hey, folks. I am Kevin Iole, and welcome to Yahoo Sports. And it is my privilege right now to have the champ on board, Glover Teixeira. He will be fighting Jiri Prochazka on June 11th in Singapore at UFC 275. And Glover, I guess the first question I got to ask you, it was a long time coming, a 42-year-old champion, have you come down off that high yet?

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Yeah, man. You know, I don't know. It's just been a amazing, amazing road, amazing time. That moment of the day was incredible. You have to come out of that high, you know? Because you leave there, man, I think you'll be flying over there.

It's too good, too nice. Got to come down, go back to the drawing board, and do it again and again, and get better and better, focus.

KEVIN IOLE: Glover, when you got to the UFC, after a lot of wrangling to try to get you in, you were touted-- you fought for the title fairly early on in your career. Did you ever start to doubt that you would be able to do it when the years were going by, and you're getting in your late 30s and into your 40s? Did you ever doubt that you would maybe be able to pull it off and actually win the title?

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: I doubt it. Yeah, of course. You know, after I lost to-- every loss, you kind of doubt yourself. You're thinking-- but this is a situation that comes in my mind very quick, and I don't let it bothering me. And I say, you've got to be strong, got to stay positive. And I always [INAUDIBLE], you know?

But when I say doubt, it's just quick moments, the upsetting moment, right there, sad, and like, oh, man I can't believe this. It's happening again. You know, like when I lost to [INAUDIBLE], who was right there fighting-- I was going to fight for the title, and it happened. You're kind of thinking that way.

But like, I keep saying to myself, just got to stay focused and stay towards my goal. Stay focused and towards my-- it doesn't matter what happens. If it doesn't-- if I don't make if, I don't be a champion, it does not matter. My life is great.

But I'm just going to keep going, do what I love, and go after what I want. And do what I-- that's what I did. And that works, man, you know? It totally works, you know?

You're reading a book many times, as you believe, and you stay long enough, things will happen. And it is true.

KEVIN IOLE: I think you have a book that you can write on your career because it's been amazing what you've overcome in your life to get to the point where you are now. Let me ask you this before we talk about the fight. Has the-- the time is champion. So what is it now, six, seven months that you've had the belt. Has it been what you thought?

Like when you imagine what it would be like to be the champion, when you go places, and everybody calls you a champ now, and I and I wonder what that process has been like over these last seven months? And do you think-- additionally, do you appreciate it more because of how hard it was for you to get to the top?

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Yeah, I'm very appreciative, man. I'm very grateful for my life, you know? All the situations [INAUDIBLE] that I got in the UFC, I've been a very-- I've always been a very happy man. Even when I was in Brazil, you ask the guys, I never cry. I was never a guy that complained.

I'm always the guy that stay positive, and joke around, and keep focused on my goal, you know? Whatever it is, it is, you know? I'm always learning from this.

I read a book a while back, and I see this the guy saying that the strong human being, the real human being, when you connect with yourself, within, [INAUDIBLE] say that it's-- no matter what comes, you stay calm, and you stay focused, and you don't get anxiety, and with nothing, not even for the future, not even further for the bad.

And don't get too crazy with the hype, and don't get too upset with the loss. You just got to stay center, you know? Balance is everything, and I'll always keep it that way. You can see it in my fights. I don't get too hyped about it. I don't go in jumping around. And I don't get caught up on guys.

It's what I tell-- my main thing that I tell to my fight team, every now and then, they see a guy that's going in. Oh, my God. This guy knocked this guy out in two minutes. Do you see him? He's the next big thing. I say, don't believe the hype.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Do not believe the hype, guys. Stay focused and don't believe the hype. And what the problem is, I see a lot of young fighters that go in there and get so hyped up, they believe the hype. They are such a great, amazing fighter, but they believe they hype, the hype that everybody put in them. And then what happens? Done. You don't see them anymore.

KEVIN IOLE: You have a big crash, yeah.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: I can tell you some names, [INAUDIBLE] some names, they come in. It's like, oh, this is going to be the next guy, and they're not even UFC anymore.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah, no doubt. I mean, I look at your career, and just since the loss to Corey Anderson, you reel off wins over Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba. I mean, a monster right there. Nikita Krylov, who's fighting good. Anthony Smith, I mean, my God, I went over Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and of course, Jan Blachowicz.

You know, I know you've talked a lot about what the UFC PI has done for you, but is there anything else, that consistency, that you can point to why you've been so consistent recently and on a continuous basis? It seems like one performance after the other keeps building and you keep getting better.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Discipline. In the back of my short, I have this saying that I took from-- it's an old saying, like you know, there's two pain in life. There's the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Which one you want to have it? And I put it there. And my [INAUDIBLE] is like, the pain of discipline is better than the pain of regret.

And discipline, discipline is the main thing. Meditation to find myself. And that's something that I do-- I will do for the rest of my life. I'll not just do it for the fight. It's just a thing that I do for me, for my life, to be appreciated-- to be appreciative, you know? To appreciate life and to be grateful.

And I think this meditation helped me so much to focus on the now and to focus on what I do, and only do my best. I cannot do more than that. Little things like that, man. Discipline. Go to the-- and go and searching, you know?

Blessed is the man that look for knowledge, that go for searching. This is a bible saying too, that you got to go search for to get better and learn, you know?

[INAUDIBLE] blessed is the meek because they conquer the Earth, you know? Because when you humble, you know that you don't know it all, and then you listen to people. And that's like, that's coming together.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, you mentioned before the next big thing. And I don't know that it's fair to say that about Jiri. But you know, he's two fights into his UFC career, and he's fighting for a world title. So obviously, people think very highly of him. And his striking is really an amazing-- he has strikes that not a lot of guys have.

Break him down. What do you think he's good at? And where do you see any vulnerabilities in his game?

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Well, Jiri is not a hype man. He's a real fighter, you know? He's been fighting for many years. He fought incredible fighters. He beat amazing fighters in UFC, with incredible way, by knockout. There's no hype in that guy, you know?

He's a real fighter. He's a real dude. And that's why, right after I won my belt, I say he was the next guy because I see the challenge. I see this is a real dude, you know? He's the real deal because, if you somebody, like I say before, the-- if I thought they would hype him up, and because he'd have Instagram follows, or he does all this crazy, you know, realism.

And now they have-- because people think that way, you know? Now the guy have all Instagram follows. He's going to fight for the title. He's going to fight for-- but you see a bunch of girls dancing, show their ass over there, or whatever, they have millions, millions of followers.

So there's no-- it has nothing to do with the order, you know? One per, one thing, I think is great. I'm not-- I don't deny that. I tell my guys in a gym, I say, be popular, go with the world, you know?

Like, see what the world like and be over there. The more popular you are, the more money you're going to make. Don't sell yourself talking about anybody family, or do things that you don't do. Don't be a prostitute for money.

Do it for yourself, you know? Do what you do for yourself, and go after it. But if it was somebody like that, I will say right now, no, I'm not fighting this guy. This guy's a bum, you know? It's like a hype, you know?

But no, Jiri is the real dude. I'm looking forward to fight him. He have a unique style. But, man, I'm very confident. I'm very prepared for this fight. My ground is excellent. My strike and my head movement, I'm just like, I'm very grateful for everything that's happening, my friend.

KEVIN IOLE: You fought for the title years ago against Jon Jones, and arguably the greatest fighter of all time, in Baltimore UFC, I believe it was 172, if I remember correctly. What did you learn from the experience of that title fight that helped you when you got into the title fight the next time? Like, you've talked a lot about growth and everything like that. But just the experience of being through a title fight before, did that make a difference when you got to your next one?

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Definitely. Attachment, you know? My first fight, I was too attached to the belt. I visualized it. I visualizing things that never happens. We always do.

We realizing like, oh, how is it going to be when I beat the champion? Oh, man, if I have the belt here, or this and that. And it's too much thinking. Oh, man, I'm like, I hope I don't get hurt. There's three weeks left, you know? All those things.

Oh, man, I cannot get hurt. And I had a little bit of injury, or I think was it my knee a little bit. But nothing-- nothing crazy. It was just a pain. I remember thinking, that, oh, man, I cannot get hurt. I'm like three weeks away. I can't-- I got to be a champion.

And this fight was totally different. I did not [INAUDIBLE]. I was training. I was focused. And I say it before the fight. You go there and go on an interview before my fight with you on how I was talking. I was talking to [INAUDIBLE].

I don't care. I'm already feeling like a champion just to be here. And man, I'm just blessed to be here. And I'm going over there. Don't matter to me. I keep saying is that the belt is the cherry on the cake of my career, just to complete the whole thing, but it's really not going to make a difference in my life.

KEVIN IOLE: The last thing I want-- you have talked about potentially ending your career at the end of this season. As a fighter, they call you the old guy, right? You're one of the few guys in the UFC that has gray hair, right? You have a little bit of gray on that beard going on. But the day--

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Hey, man, got to respect that. Got to respect that, you know?

KEVIN IOLE: Hey, dude, dude, look. I mean--

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Ah, respect the knowledge, man. Respect the years.

KEVIN IOLE: We've been around for a while. But you know, my question is this. If you retire, if you do choose to retire at the end of this year, you go from being the old guy in the sport, to you're a young guy in life and in business, right? 42 years old is not that old. Or you'd be 43, I guess, at the end of the year. But that's not that old, business wise.

So what would the next step be for Glover, when you step away from fighting? How do you how do you make your mark in the world after fighting?

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Hanging out, man, chill. Nothing, do nothing.

KEVIN IOLE: That's a good-- I like it. I love it. That's-- if you can pull that off, God bless you.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Nothing. Do what I do do. What I love to do. Do absolutely nothing that is going to-- anything that--

This is for-- this is my job. I love my job.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: When you love your job, you don't work a day. This is my job, right? I'm making my retirement plan, and I've done it, right? I have my gym, you know?

When I say nothing, it doesn't mean I'm not going to be working. For me, working in the gym is a hobby.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: It's a hobby, you know? This is a hobby. I'm not doing anything to-- the thing is like, I don't want to-- I don't want to have the commitment anymore. That's why.

I'm going to be doing work. I'm going to be doing training. I'm going to-- when I say nothing, I'm not going to be a bum just sitting on my-- you know, my backyard and do nothing, even know though this is a pretty good thing too, you know?

I sit a lot over here. A lot of birds. There's an owl over there right now. [INAUDIBLE] raccoons. We got to see-- got to see this yard, man.

KEVIN IOLE: Let's check it out.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: See, it's like crazy. Let's see, let's see. Hold on, hold on.

KEVIN IOLE: Well, you were a landscaper, right? So it should be good.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: No, man. No, you just talk about, like, you see the trees over there. Like, oh, look at that.

KEVIN IOLE: Look at that there. Beautiful.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: It's like all the birds, all the-- man, it's crazy, you know? And do a nice thing--

KEVIN IOLE: That is a place to drink a beer and smoke a cigar after you win the title again.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Drink beer, drink beer, drink whatever. I drink coffee, you know, man? Like I say, when I say nothing, it's there. No commitment.

I don't want another job that I have to defend the belt, or fighting for the belt, or fighting some-- you know, fighting UFC. You know, where you fight whoever.

You go, you talk about it. Call [INAUDIBLE] or Ion Cutelaba, all those guys. They come to take your head off. And that's what-- I love to do that. I like the challenge. But if I call it a day, and I'm not saying that for sure, but there's a possibility, if I call it a day, man, I'm done, bro.

Don't be like-- unless you offer me a lot of money, I probably going to be-- it's probably going to, eh-- but even there, you know? It's got to be, like, the things that I like to do too.

If it's something that I don't enjoy it, I'm not money hunting. I don't-- I'm not too crazy about this luxury, you know? I don't like luxury. I don't I don't care about it, you know?

But if you offered me a job wherever, commentating or something, it's got to be something that I enjoy doing. And the end of the day, if I don't enjoy it, don't matter how much money you offer to me. No thanks, my friend.

I'm telling you right now, if I stress just a little bit, I will be gone. Nope, goodbye. Take your money. Pay somebody else that want it.

KEVIN IOLE: Well, if you want to talk about a guy who has his priorities straight, it's this man, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champ, Glover Teixeira.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: My wife is laughing over here. And she's like-- she's laughing because she know it's true, you know? She knows that's the way I am. We have a very-- pretty simple life.

And now with the belt-- you know, man, I bought this house when I fought Jon Jones, man. I have [? 50 ?] fights after that, and now I'm the champion of the world, and I still live here. I don't need to move out, man. This is beautiful.

KEVIN IOLE: I love it. I remember, your wife used to translate for you. We used to do the interviews with her, and she would be the interpreter. So now--

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Oh, yeah. She used to translate for me. He remember you translate for me.

KEVIN IOLE: So you did--

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Yeah.

KEVIN IOLE: You did great. Glover, it's great to talk to you, my friend. I took up enough of your time. So I'm going to let you roll. Good luck in Singapore against Jiri Prochazka, UFC 275. That is the Light Heavyweight Champ, Glover Teixeira.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA: Thank you. [INAUDIBLE].

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