Brazilian born (Sobralia), Glover Teixeira, went from being illegal immigrant in US to oldest UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Brazilian born (Sobralia), Glover Teixeira, had a very interesting life journey before he became UFC champion. Texeira left Brazil when he was 19 years old, chasing his dream to become professional fighter, travel 42 days and ilegaly crossed US border and ended up in Danbury, Connecticut. He started training with Chuck Liddell (big UFC star at the time) and In 2006 he fought against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and knocked him out in first round.
After that fight, Gover received many offers from different organisation: Pride, EliteXC…but he could not sign any of them because he was still illegally in USA.
Talking with his lawyer at the time, he was advise to go back in Brazil and write a letter to the consulate asking for forgiveness for coming to the state illegally and trying to get legal visa. He was declined.
His wife stayed in US and he moved back to Sobralia trying to figure out what to do next. His coach at the time, Pedro Rizzo advised him to just continue fighting – outside of US. So he did, he was really dominating everyone they put in front of him. In a winning spree in 2011, he finished 3 UFC veterans (Marcio Cruz, Antonio Mendes, and Marvin Eastman) and former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez.
But he was still without the visa.
In 2011 his wife wrote a letter to a Chris Murphy, junior senator for Connecticut who decided to help and Glover got his citizenship.
“I cried man, i cried…” said Glover.
So, he finally got to the UFC, won against couple of big names Quinton Jackson, Ryan Bader and he got the title fight against Jon Jones in 2014 which he lost. Jon Jones was just better at that time.
After that Glover had mixed success in UFC fights, wining some and losing some fights… But then, starting from 2019 he was a winning spree of 5-0 in his last 5 fights and he got another chance to fight for a title at age 42 against Jan Błachowicz.
Glover won by submission in second round and became oldest UFC champion ever.
Couple days ago, he was honored by parade and keys of the city in his (US) home town of Danbury.