UFC 172 light-heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira has come a long way during his MMA career; starting in 2002, GT set off with a 2-2 record in his first four bouts-nothing too stellar there. Since his decision loss to Ed Herman, Teixeira has been on a brutal rampage and has compiled a twenty fight/18 finish win streak.

Now as he faces the biggest test of his storied career, Teixeira spoke to MMAJunkie.com about his status as the underdog against Jon Jones:

“There was no way I was going to be the betting favorite,” Said Teixeira, a 4-1 underdog. “In my own head, and that of my trainer’s, I am the favorite. But it’s no surprise that I’m not in the eyes of the fans. “I’ll never give myself an A since I ask a lot from myself,” Teixeira said. “Every fight has its rough spots, and I’m always looking for improve every facet. I may not be as young, but my experience makes up for it.”

Rough spots against Ryan Bader and James Te Huna were overcome, as Teixeira finished both men in the first round. That being said, he did look in a little bit of trouble against Bader, and I’m not sure he would be let off the hook so easy against ‘Bones’. GT continued:

“There are always holes in anyone’s game,” Teixeira said. “Without a doubt Jon Jones is one of the greatest fighters in history, and, of course, we do see errors that we’ll try to exploit. “I’ve watched Jones’ fights, but my trainers are the ones who come up with a strategy. Ultimately, I’m not one to spend too much time studying my opponent. I leave that up to my coaches.”

As his training for Jones is inevitably coming to a close, all the hard work and dedication will show in his performance, as he hopes to become the first man to defeat the champ Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.

“We arrived at this point with a great deal of sacrifice,” Teixeira said. “Those who followed my career know the difficulties I endured in Brazil. Now the chance to fight for the UFC belt is an achievement in itself. I’m training harder than I’ve ever trained before. I’m getting that belt.”

Will the dominant king of the light-heavyweight division maintain his tight hold on the belt, or will the heavy-handed underdog emerge as the champion with an upset?