Fighting out of Danbury, Conn., Glover Teixeira will have plenty of family, friends and fans in the arena at UFC 208 on Saturday at Barclays Center.
One of those supporters just happens to be the man he’s fighting.
Ahead of their bout, Jared Cannonier says he’s always been fond of Teixeira and the Brazilian’s approach to MMA.
“I’m a huge Glover fan,” Cannonier said. “I really like his style, the way he throws his hands, the way he mixes it up with the takedowns and he’s a really good grappler.”
Cannonier also admires how Teixeira handles himself outside the cage.
“He’s not putting up a façade, you know? I always respect people who show their natural selves,” Cannonier said. “Whether they’re on camera or wherever. I always have a respect for people like that.”
Teixeira, the No. 3-ranked light heavyweight in the world, was taken back when he learned Cannonier is a fan of his.
“I don’t know what to say about that, nobody has ever told me that,” Teixeira said. “The thing is, I’m going to fight this guy. Right now it’s business.”
While he’s never been in this situation before, Teixeira said early in his career he had to face one of his favorite fighters, Quentin “Rampage” Jackson.”
“I was a fan of Rampage before I fought him, and when I fought him, I had to put it to the side,” Teixeira said. “I said, this is my opponent now. He has to do that and I have to do that as well.”
Coming off a knockout loss to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson last August, Teixeira will have a chance to get back on the right track against the relative newcomer Cannonier. The Alaska-based fighter is 2-1 in the UFC and won a Fight of the Night bonus in his win over Ion Cutelaba last December, but he remains the most unknown fighter on the main card of UFC 208.
“This is definitely a quick turnaround, but they offered and I accepted,” Cannonier said. “I’m healthy, I was still in shape and injury free, so why not?”