Thiago Santos spoke recently with PVT reporter Leonardo Fabri, and discussed signing to fight Glover Teixeira in the main event of a UFC event on September 12 in Las Vegas, NV.
“Actually, Glover was not the name we wanted,” admitted Santos, as translated by Marcelo Alonso for Sherdog. “My desire was a revenge against [UFC light heavyweight champion Jon] Jones or to go straight for the interim belt against Dominick Reyes. But once UFC was passing through that indefinite situation about Jones, I had to understand their point. I’m more than one year out of the Octagon and pretty hungry to return. After the fight against Anthony Smith, Glover mentioned my name and said he would fight against me, so the UFC offered me that fight and I immediately said yes.”
Teixeira and Santos both trained at ATT in Coconut Creek, Florida, and at Pedro Rizzo’s gym in Rio de Janeiro, but didn't meet.
“When I arrived at ATT he had just left. The same with Rizzo. When I trained there, he was already living in the USA. But even if we trained in both places we would fight. That’s our job. I have a lot of respect for Glover, not only as a fighter but also as a person. But we think the same way. We are professionals and we have the same dream.”
“Glover is a complete fighter. I’ve heard some people saying he was a great ‘recovery’ matchup for me. I really don’t see that way. The results of Glover’s last fight speaks for itself. He is coming from four impressive wins, by knockout or submission, against top contenders. He is such a resilient guy, able to absorb impressive punishment and turn the fight with amazing submissions or knockouts. Definitely he is an opponent that motivates me a lot to train hard and face him being 100 percent, because I’m sure it’s going to be a war.”
“Doesn't matter if it’s interim or not. I’m planning to be fighting for the UFC belt again by the end of the year."
And on the flip side, if Teixeira wins, he, too could get a title shot, in what would be one of the great stories of the year.