Age is just a number, and nobody proves it better than Glover Teixeira.
The 39-year-old light heavyweight fighter defeated Nikita “The Miner” Krylov via split decision at UFC Fight Night 158: Vancouver on September 14. Their fight was listed as the co-main event of the evening, and despite how long the fight lasted, Teixeira proved that he could still go the distance with fighters over a decade his junior.
The fight started with a couple of kicks from Krylov, first to the body and then to the leg of Teixeira. Krylov’s third kick attempt was caught by Teixeira, who wrestled him to the ground. Here, Teixeira displayed his ability to keep opponents pinned to the mat. Despite the slight weight advantage, Krylov was having difficulty escaping Teixeira’s pin. Glover, using the pressure of his weight, attempted to flatten Krylov out, but after the three-minute mark, the younger Krylov finally escaped. Teixeira would attempt a takedown soon after, but Krylov caught him with a rear naked choke. He would’ve locked it in too had it not been for some good takedown defence from Teixeira. The round ends with a flurry of punches and a cut at the top of Teixeira’s head.
Just like round one, round two started with kicks from the Ukranian Krylov, although Teixeira did answer with some decent counters. Krylov was active, though. He was constantly moving around the cage, looking for a good angle to attack Teixeira from. Krylov continued to resort to kicks, despite the threat of Teixeira catching them. With a minute to go in the round, Teixeira would press Krylov against the fence, but the Ukranian would reverse and pin down the Brazilian American. Round two ends with Krylov forcing some short elbows into Teixeira’s face.
Krylov, not used to fighting a third round, eats a clean 1-2-3 from Teixeira. Soon after, after failing to secure a takedown, Krylov found himself on the receiving end of a guillotine attempt, although he was able to push Teixeira’s arm off of his neck. He ends up on top of Teixeira as a result, although only briefly. The final part of round three was defined by wrestling and submission attempts, mainly from Teixeira, who used this round to split the judges’ decision in his favour.
Afterwards, Teixeira revealed his secret to maintaining his competitiveness while approaching 40.
“Focus and discipline and believe in yourself,” he said.
With the win, Teixeira improved to 30-7-0 in his professional career, including 13-5-0 in UFC fights. The Brazilian American has been on a roll as of late; he’s won each of his last three fights, all of which came in 2019. He’s only lost three of his last 11 fights, dating wall the way back to mid-2015.
Krylov, who loses via a decision for the first time in his career, sees his record drop 26-7-0, including 7-5-0 in the UFC. He’s now lost two of his last three fights since winning four straight between June 2, 2017, and May 19, 2018.