Glover Teixeira was 28 seconds from defending his UFC light heavyweight title against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 before hitting a rear-naked choke in Singapore. And while the Brazilian acknowledges it was a mistake to jump for a guillotine after rocking Prochazka to his feet in the fifth round, he has no regrets.
“Instinct, right?” Teixeira said in a special edition of the MMA Fighting podcast Trocacao Franca. “He put his head down and his neck fell straight into my guillotine. I didn’t want it, he gave it to me. Of course I could have been more patient. I’m kind of cracked up. But that’s how he got me later – we think when someone’s hurt and tired you guillotine them and they knock fast, sometimes they walk out fast too.
“I’ve always said that, anyone can subdue anyone [in MMA]. You can put Roger Gracie in there, who has the best jiu-jitsu in the world. If someone knocks him down and he’s hurt, you can catch him with a rear naked choke. You’re going to compete with Rodolfo Vieira in jiu-jitsu and not catch him I bet, but it happens in MMA. And it happened to me.
“But the guillotine, man – I want to cry when I see it again. F***,” he continued
“A lot happens in a fight and you learn from it. “I could have done this or that.” I always go back and watch it to fix my mistakes, regardless of whether I win or lose. I always criticize myself and fix my mistakes. But it is what it is.”
Teixeira said the fight went exactly as he expected, with him “dominating” Prochazka on the floor with his jiu-jitsu and wrestling for most of the fight.
Ultimately, however, there was no escaping Prochazka’s battle-ending submission.
“Someone will say, ‘F*** he was on the side, there isn’t one [reason to tap]. How did he knock?’ I knocked,” Teixeira said. “There’s no way around it, I tapped because I was almost desperate, so much so that I was down after the fight. Everything was getting dark, I was already going out. Not typing would not have changed the outcome of the fight.
“But I dominated jiu-jitsu [exchanges] the whole time. There were also times when I dominated on the feet. Sometimes I lost on my feet, but I always dominated on the floor. I was bottomed a few times but always defended his ground and pound. That’s the reality, I dominated on the floor but got caught at the last minute. Like a punch when someone dominates the entire fight and a punch lands.”
The biggest lesson from UFC 275, Teixeira said, is to “always stay alert and never think you’re better than someone else in a position.”
The veteran Brazilian had never been entered before UFC 275 in his 20-year MMA career, despite fighting the who’s who of the light heavyweight division.
“I thought his chances of winning were if he knocked me out, landed a flying knee or an elbow,” Teixeira said. “That’s what I expected before the fight: ‘This guy has this chance and I have to be alert.’ But on the floor, man, it never crossed my mind. “He’ll try to subjugate me.” I never thought he’d try that. I envisioned exactly what was happening for four and a half rounds – he tried to knock me to my feet and I landed some good hands, maybe catching him with a counter when he got it and dominating on the floor. That worked perfectly for four and a half laps.
“I don’t underestimate anyone, never think I’ll submit everyone in the first round. I will always choose submission, that’s why I said you live by the sword and die by the sword. … That’s what fans like. That’s what I do and I don’t regret it, but the lesson is to always be on the alert. It happened for the first time in my career and it is what it is. Life goes on.”