Glover Teixeira was 28 seconds away from defending his UFC light heavyweight title against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 before he tapped to a rear-naked choke in Singapore. And even though the Brazilian recognizes that jumping for a guillotine after rocking Prochazka on his feet in the fifth round was a mistake, he does not regret doing it.
“Instinct, right?” Teixeira said on a special edition of MMA Fighting podcast French exchange. “He put his head down and his neck fell right into my guillotine. I did not go for it, he gave it to me. I could have been more patient, of course. I kind of jumped the gun. But the same way he caught me later – we think that when someone is hurt and tired you’ll catch him with a guillotine and he’ll tap quickly, sometimes he goes out quickly too.
“I’ve always said this, anyone can submit 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 get him with a rear-naked choke. You’ll compete in jiu-jitsu with Rodolfo Vieira and you will not catch him, I bet that, but it happens in MMA. And it happened with me.
“But the guillotine, man – I feel like crying watching it again. F ***, ”he continued
“There’s a lot that goes on in a fight and you’ll learn from it. ‘I could’ve done this or that.’ I always go back and watch it to fix my mistakes, regardless of winning or losing. I’m always criticizing myself and fixing my mistakes. But it is what it is. ”
Teixeira said the fight played out exactly as he expected, with him “dominating” Prochazka on the ground with his jiu-jitsu and wrestling for the majority of the bout.
Ultimately, though, there was no escape from Prochazka’s fight-ending submission.
“Someone will say, ‘F ***, he was on the side, there’s no [reason to tap]. How did he tap? ‘ I tapped, ”Teixeira said. “There’s no way around this, I tapped because I was almost desperate, so much so that I stayed there on the ground after the fight ended. Everything went dark, I was going out already. Not tapping would not have changed the result of the fight.
“But I dominated the jiu-jitsu [exchanges] the entire time. There were some times I dominated on the feet, too. There were some times I lost on the feet, but I always dominated on the ground. I was on the bottom a few times but always defended his ground and pound. That’s the reality, I dominated on the ground but was caught in the last minute. Like a punch, someone dominating the entire fight and a punch lands. ”
The biggest lesson from UFC 275, Teixeira said, is to “stay alert at all times and never think you’re better than someone else in a position.”
The experienced Brazilian had never been submitted prior to UFC 275 in his 20-year MMA career, despite having fought the who’s who of the light heavyweight class.
“I thought his chances of winning would be by knocking me out, landing a flying knee, 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 ground, man, it never crossed my mind. ‘He’ll try to do this, to submit me,’ I never imagined him trying that. I imagined exactly what happened for four-and-a-half rounds – him trying to knock me out on the feet and me landing some good hands, maybe catching him with a counter when he comes for it, and dominating on the ground. That worked perfectly for four-and-a-half rounds.
“I never underestimate anyone, never think I’ll submit everyone in the first round. I’ll always go for the 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 have no regrets doing it, but the lesson is to always be alert. It happened for the first time in my career, and it’s what it is. Life goes on. ”