Glover Teixeira continues to perform as an underdog, earning not just his fifth consecutive win, but also his second crack atthe UFC light heavyweight crown with a phenomenal third-round rear-naked choke victory over the returning, Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos.
Displaying his patented power from the opening couple of exchanges, Santos hurt Teixeira early with a counter right-hook, wobbling the Minas Gerais veteran who shot desperately for a frail double-leg takedown.
In typical Teixeira fashion, the veteran managed to score a takedown eventually, grounding out Santos for the rest of the first-round, finding the target from both full-mount and full-guard to really force Santos to keep tabs on his position.
Shooting once again early in the second-frame, Teixeira would land two notable hammer-fists, as Santos struggled to offer anything significant in terms of forcing some sort of scramble – failing to create much if any space for a stand up.
In a round which played out hugely similarly to the opening frame, Teixeira kept Santos busy with an accumulation of strikes from side-control on this occasion, before almost wrapping up a late rear-naked choke, with the round ending klaxon saving Santos’ bacon.
In a massive switch of pace in the third, Santos defended another early shot from Teixeira, before countering with another left hand, dropping his compatriot and assuming half-guard himself, threatening the finish. Almost forcing the issue with a massive barrage of ground-and-pound, a fatigued Santos gave up his back with Teixeira eventually forcing the tap this time around to earn his status as the next contender to the light heavyweight throne.
Check out the highlights from Teixeira’s title challenge earning submission win over Rio de Janeiro native, Santos below.