By Angela Barbosa
He is Brazilian by birth and by heart, but it was here in the United States of America that Glover
Teixeira, one of the biggest names in the UFC, found his passion for martial arts, back in 1999.
A natural from Sobralia, Minas Gerais, where gyms were non-existent, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, whose record boasted 13 knockouts and six submissions, chose the city of Danbury as home to develop his love for fighting.
“If I was living in a big city, I would have started fighting much earlier. But my training began at Hat City Boxing after a year and a half that I was here,” said Glover.
A fighter who has gone from near-poverty in his home country of Brazil to the doorstep of a world championship, and the owner of his own MMA training facility in Danbury, Glover’s unpretentious nature, as his wife, Ingrid Teixeira, described him, “a simple and humble guy,” remains intact despite his fame.
“We don’t think of it as like [being in] that stressful spotlight. We just live our same lives and be the same way,” said Ingrid.
Dana Marie DeNapoli, one of Glover’s students, describes her training with the number three in the world as a constant learning experience. “If you love something you have to sacrifice everything for it. Going through this whole experience, Glover helped me so much. We keep it professional in gym and then, when I’m outside he’s like my dad. It’s cool to have a relationship with the number three in the world. It’s really all sacrifice, I feel like I’ve gained and then I lost some. I feel like the gains are so much more rewarding.”
For someone who went from cutting lawns and working in a boxing gym to the top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division, “rewarding” resonates well to describe how Glover’s life evolved, working each day, taking one step at a time towards championship status.
Being conscious about his strength and that he could easily injure someone is something Glover takes very seriously and he passes it on to his students.
“Martial arts give you confidence. Confidence is the one thing that keeps you out of trouble. If I’m going to a bar and somebody starts picking a fight with me, I’m just probably going to laugh and walk away. When you’re not confident, that’s when you start fights.”
What makes this 35-year old fighter keep on going with the same enthusiasm? “The love. The passion for the sport. And also the money is there,” he said smiling.
But according to Glover, at the moment of the fight, you don’t really think about the money, only afterwards. “There is nothing better than to win a fight in the octagon with all these people cheering for you. There is nothing better than that.”
And that is a mutual feeling for Glover’s students. “A lot of kids wish they got this opportunity that I am having to train with Glover. I have to always keep reminding myself that it’s the biggest deal. It’s awesome because he has so much, and still he has so much more to teach me about this whole martial arts experience,” explained Dana.
To become part of the academy, Glover recommends that everyone “come down and check it out. At 7:15 p.m., we have a fitness class every day and we have Cardio Kickboxing Class every Tuesday & Thursday at 6:15 p.m.”
As we begin a new year, his message is, “Believe, stop complaining, and work. Get up in the morning and be happy, be grateful for everything that you have and go out there with your dream. Whatever you want in life, it is not going to be easy, no matter what you do. If you put the work into it and believe it, I know it’s going to come true. You’re going to get something good out of it. Just believe and roll your sleeves in the morning and go to work. That’s my message.”
For more information, or to become a member of the Glover Teixeira Training Center located at 16 Beaver Brook Road in Danbury, follow them on Facebook, visit their website at http://www.gloverteixeiramma.com or call (203) 456-3549