Glover Teixeira is preparing to make his UFC return later this month after a shoulder injury kept him sidelined for a good portion of last year, and he has some ideas about how to avoid similar injury layoffs in the future.
Teixeira returns to the Octagon to face Ion Cutelaba on Jan. 19 at UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ 1. The 39-year-old Brazilian fought only once in 2018, coming up short against Corey Anderson in July by unanimous decision. Teixeira suffered a shoulder injury in the lead-up to a scheduled bout against Jimi Manuwa in September, forcing him to withdraw.
As he approaches 40, with well over a decade and a half in the sport, the heavy-hitting Brazilian has said he’s made some adjustments to his game in training as he can’t go into each fight anymore and throw with reckless abandon (via MMA Junkie):
“We have to deal with certain situations in our careers,” Teixeira said. “I was injured and couldn’t fight. I last fought with a slight problem in my shoulder, I underwent intense physical therapy. My shoulder is a lot better now, compared to when I fought Corey Anderson. That’s how it goes.
“We have to deal with small injuries that get worse as time goes by,” Teixeira added. “It’s important to have the right strategy. I can’t commit to things or fight like I used to. I can’t just bang it out, I have to be more intelligent in training and in fighting.”
UFC on ESPN+ 1, also known as UFC Fight Night 143, takes place Saturday, Jan. 19 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and is headlined by the champ-versus-champ superfight between bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and flyweight champ Henry Cejudo. It will be broadcast on ESPN+ as the first event on the UFC’s new deal with the over-the-top channel.