Ion Cutelaba clearly respects Glover Teixeira for what he’s accomplished during his accomplished career. But, that hasn’t stopped the rising light-heavyweight from delivering a warning to the man he’ll face today at UFC Fort Lauderdale.
The 25-year-old has been awarded a bout with the perennial, 39-year-old contender, following consecutive wins over Henrique da Silva and Gadzhimurad Antigulov. Both of those victories came via first round, stoppage, and they moved Cutelaba’s UFC record to 3-2.
Well, while speaking to the media this week regarding tonight’s bout, “The Hulk” had this to say about the opportunity (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I’m feeling ready for this fight,” Cutelaba said . “The wins I just got give me the experience to make it just like the last two. I’m very thankful that I got another opportunity to take this step and this fight.”
“I just want to tell you two things: It’s my time,” Cutelaba said. “It’s time for a new generation. Tomorrow is tomorrow, and yesterday was yesterday. Teixeira is a great fighter, but it’s time for the new generation.”
Yup. It’s kind of hard to take a legitimate shot at what Teixeira has done during his career. After all, this is a guy who has been facing top tier competition since 2012, and who holds wins over notable names like Ryan Bader, Rashad Evans, and “Rampage” Jackson, among others. The Brazilian’s losses in the UFC have been against stars like Jon Jones, Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis and most recently, Corey Anderson.
It’s also worth noting that Teixeira isn’t far removed from a first-round win over Misha Cirkunov, who not long ago was regarded as one of the top prospects at light-heavyweight.
So, this begs the question: is Teixeira’s time really over? Could the rugged vet have another title shot run left? Or will Cutelaba’s prediction come to pass?