Teixeira is originally from the rural community of Sobrália, Minas Gerais, Brazil and is of Portuguese descent. His neighborhood had no traffic signals, there was no electricity in many of the homes, and there was a single gas station. He moved to Danbury, Connecticut in 1999 to help support his family and quickly found a job in landscaping. It was there that he met his wife, Ingrid. After watching boxers such as Mike Tyson and the early mixed martial arts fighters such as Royce Gracie and Chuck Liddell compete, Teixeira decided that he wanted to follow the same path. He had never heard of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but was able to find and watch videos of UFC 1 and UFC 2 which featured the legendary UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie. After working 10- to 12-hour days landscaping, Teixeira would then go train Brazilian jiu-jitsu at American Top Team Connecticut. John Hackleman had trained a fighter who fought Teixeira and was impressed by the young Brazilian. Hackleman invited Teixeira to his gym in California, The Pit, where Teixeira began training with UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell.
Teixeira earned his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Luigi Mondelli, head coach at American Top Team Connecticut. Teixeira currently trains and instructs at Glover Teixeira Training Center in Danbury, CT.
His background includes a variety of grappling and MMA tournaments: Grapplers Quest, NAGA, Sport Fight (where he was the Light Heavyweight Champion). Under submission wrestling rules, he grappled with well-known fighters Jeff Monson and Brandon Vera. He won the 2009 Brazilian ADCC trials in the under 99 kg division, and in the 2011 Brazilian ADCC trials he took second place.
Teixeira defeated future UFC and PRIDE veteran Sokoudjou by KO on October 12, 2006 at WEC 24.
Teixeira was featured in the second season opening episode of the MMA reality television series TapouT.
On February 21, 2012, it was announced that Teixeira had signed a deal with UFC and would make his debut in early summer 2012.
Teixeira debuted at the UFC facing Kyle Kingsbury on May 26, 2012 at UFC 146. After a quick exchange, Teixeira knocked Kingsbury down with a right uppercut, gained full mount, locked an arm-triangle choke, switched to side control and forced his opponent to tap at 1:53 of the first round.
Teixeira was expected to face former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson on October 13, 2012 at UFC 153. However, Jackson pulled out of the bout citing an injury and was replaced by Fábio Maldonado. Teixeira dominated Maldonado throughout the fight with multiple takedowns and vicious ground and pound, resulting in the doctor stopping the fight at the end of round two.
Teixeira/Jackson took place on January 26, 2013 at UFC on Fox 6. Teixeira outboxed him with jabs, body shots and combinations, even scoring a knockdown in round 1. He also outwrestled Jackson, surprisingly taking the former champion down at will, and used his jiu-jitsu to easily dominate him on the ground, repeatedly mounting and taking his back, proceeding to a unanimous decision win.
Teixeira was expected to face Ryan Bader on May 25, 2013 at UFC 160. However, Bader withdrew from the bout citing an injury and was replaced by James Te Huna. Teixeira won by submission with a guillotine choke in the first round. The performance earned Teixeira Submission of the Night honors.
The bout with Bader eventually took place on September 4, 2013 as the main event at UFC Fight Night 28. Despite being dropped early in the first round by Bader, Teixeira rallied back and won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Teixeira his first Knockout of the Night bonus award. With the victory, Teixeira earned an opportunity at the UFC Light Heavyweight title.
Zuffa initially announced Teixeira would face Jon Jones on February 1, 2014 at UFC 169. However, on October 7, Dana White said the announcement for this fight on that card was premature and that Jones and Teixeira would face each other on a different card. The bout with Jones was expected to take place on February 22, 2014 at UFC 170. Jones and Teixeira eventually took place on April 26, 2014 at UFC 172. Teixeira lost the bout via unanimous decision.
Teixeira faced Phil Davis on October 25, 2014 at UFC 179. Teixeira lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Teixeira was expected to face Rashad Evans on February 22, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 61. However, on January 7, Teixeira pulled out of the bout citing a knee injury that he had sustained in his last fight was slow to heal.
Teixeira was expected to face Alexander Gustafsson on June 20, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 69. However, it was announced on May 1 that Gustafsson had been removed from the card due to injury.
Teixeira faced Ovince Saint Preux on August 8, 2015 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 73. Teixeira won via submission in the third round. He was also awarded his first Fight of the Night bonus award.
Teixeira faced Patrick Cummins on November 7, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 77. He won the fight via TKO in the second round.
Teixeira faced Rashad Evans on April 16, 2016 at UFC on Fox 19. He won the fight via knockout in the first round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.
Teixeira was expected to face Anthony Johnson on July 23, 2016 at UFC on Fox 20. However, Johnson pulled out of the bout to tend to personal issues. The bout was rescheduled and eventually took place at UFC 202. Johnson defeated Teixeira by knockout in the opening seconds of the fight.
Teixeira faced Jared Cannonier on February 11, 2017 at UFC 208. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
A rescheduled fight with Alexander Gustafsson eventually took place on May 28, 2017 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 109. Teixeira lost the fight via knockout in the fifth round. Despite the loss, the bout earned Teixeira his second Fight of the Night bonus award.
Teixeira was scheduled to face Misha Cirkunov on October 28, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 119. However, the pairing was delayed after a recent hand surgery for Teixeira was slow to heal and the bout rescheduled for December 16, 2017 at UFC on Fox 26.Ultimate Fighting Championship
Performance of the Night (One time)
Knockout of the Night (One time)
Submission of the Night (One time)
Fight of the Night (Two times)
South America 220-pound Championship (One time)
2012 Beatdown of the Year vs. Fábio Maldonado
2012 All-Violence Second Team
2013 All-Violence Third Team