Since his UFC debut, Teixeira has been highly touted and a force to be reckoned with. He is on a 19-fight winning streak. Therefore, despite having barely fought any name opponents, many, including Teixeira, believe that he is more than prepared to take on the current light heavyweight phenom and champion Jon Jones.
Irrespective of the Brazilian’s astonishing win streak, Teixeira has only fought one opponent of some significance in Quinton Jackson. The Memphis native, who barely made the UFC’s top-10 list at the time, lost to Teixeira via decision in a slow, lackluster bout that was far from entertaining at UFC on Fox 6.
Since his matchup against Jackson, Teixeira has not fought one top-10 opponent. However, he is currently ranked No. 3 by the UFC and has adamantly voiced his desire to challenge the light heavyweight champion for the title. In an interview with Ariel Helwani in 2012, Teixeira stated:
Listen man, I train so hard and I have to believe in myself right? People [are] already saying I [can] challenge Jon Jones…
…Many people that fight in the UFC want to challenge the champion…
…If they put me in a fight with Jon Jones right now, I'll get the title.
Since that interview, Teixeira has gained an incredible amount of momentum. Provided he puts on a grand performance against Bader at UFC Fight Night 28, a fight between the Brazilian and Jones may be on the horizon.
In fact, the UFC managing director of international development, Marshall Zelaznik, proclaimed as much during the UFC 163 post-fight press conference. He stated: “Dana [White] and Joe [Silva] have confirmed that with a strong victory by Glover, he probably gets the winner of the Jon Jones fight. So, Glover’s got an opportunity to go for that belt with a big win.”
On September 4, Teixeira will be facing a former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler who is coming off a respectable win over another MMA veteran in Vladimir Matyushenko. Bader is not currently ranked by the UFC, and a win over his Brazilian counterpart would be of great significance. A devastating loss on his part would more than likely push Bader farther away from the UFC’s top-10, and have Teixeira face Jones for the title.
In the end, however, Teixeira became the No. 3 ranked light heavyweight in the world by defeating no one of significance—except for an unmotivated "Rampage" Jackson, who was on his way out of the UFC at the time of their meeting.
The Brazilian's questionable ranking, accompanied by his projected win over yet another non-ranked contender in Bader, does not legitimize a title shot and weakens the credibility of the greatest mixed martial arts organization in the world.