When Ryan Bader dropped Glover Teixeira to the mat on Wednesday night, it looked like the hype train for another one of the UFC’s favorite sons was going to jump off the tracks. Fortunately for the promotion and Teixeira, he was able to recover and earn a technical knockout over Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 28.
Following the first round stoppage, the UFC announced that Teixeira would face the winner of the Jon Jones versus Alexander Gustafsson fight.
That’s all well and good, but please when talking about that title fight, don’t claim that Teixeira earned it. He didn’t.
Before you get all up in arms about that statement, take a look at the fighters Teixeira has faced during his five fight UFC career: Kyle Kingsbury, Fabio Maldonado, Quinton Jackson, James Te Huna and now Bader. Let me point out the obvious about those fighters, not one of them is a top ten fighter in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. The combined record of his opponents is a pedestrian 25-18.
Wins over those five justify a title shot? I’m not buying what the UFC is selling regarding Teixeira. Sure, he’s looked impressive in some of those fights, but so what, he was gifted middle of the road opponents that he was supposed to beat.
I understand that the light heavyweight division has seen better days, but this handpicking a fighter for a title shot based on a man crush or on the fact UFC VP Chuck Liddell thinks someone is a beast is spurious at best.
You want me to believe all they hype that the UFC commentating team was heaping on Teixeira during Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 28 broadcast? Fine, have him go out there and prove that he can beat someone in the top ten in the division. Until he does that, Teixeira will be just another fighter that the UFC handpicked to build hype around.
Teixeira even acknowledged that the hype the UFC is foisting on him started to get inside his head. Following his knockout of Bader, Teixeira said, “I think one of my problems is that I just had too much self confidence. This was a good wake up call.”
That’s a good attitude, and one Teixeira would be well served to keep even as the hype train ramps up surrounding his promised title shot.