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Exclusive Interview with “Pit Master” John Hackleman: The Rise of Glover Teixeira

Thursday, November 29th, 2012


 By Bryanna Fissori


Based out of the quiet California beach town of Arroyo Grande, John Hackleman owns and operates “The Pit,” a mecca for professional and rising amateur fighters around the world.

With affiliate gyms located across the continental United States, Hackleman still finds time to focus on teaching high level Hawaii Kempo courses at his school and manages The Pit MMA fight team. With other well known fighters such as Chuck Liddell and Court McGee having spent a good amount of their careers under Hackleman’s wing, he is happy to have his Brazilian fighter, Glover Teixeira back home where he belongs.

Teixeira is 2-0 in the octagon with decisive wins over Fabio Maldonado (TKO/Doctor Stoppage) and Kyle Kingsbury (Submission). The light-heavyweight’s next bout will be on January 26 against former champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Teixeira was originally slated to fight Jackson on UFC 153, but Maldonado was sent in as a replacement when Jackson had to pull out due to injury.

Hackleman said there was no hesitation in confirming the fight. “He (Glover) is so well rounded. His BJJ is much better. His wrestling is about the same, maybe a little tighter. Both of them hit hard, but his hands are faster. Rampage has knockout power, but so does Glover. He has ‘Tyson one-punch power.’ His conditioning is also off the hook.”

According to Hackleman Teixeira’s schedule for recent fights consists of spending four days out of the week training at The Pit and one day at Blackhouse in Los Angeles.

“His conditioning makes him stand out,” said Hackleman. “He is one of these guys like Court McGee that loves working out. He is always looking for something new and we are always brainstorming.”

Hackleman and Teixeira met in 2002 after Teixeira’s first professional bout, which took place at WEC 3. He suffered one of only two losses in his career that night and it was to Eric Schwartz who happened to be Hackleman’s fighter.

“He fought my guy in his first fight,” said Hackleman. “It was his first fight and my guy’s first fight. Glover got beat by TKO. We were in the dressing room and he was congratulating us after the fight. We really liked his attitude. He was a tough kid. Then he decided to come out and train with us. So, that’s how it started.”

Teixeira trained at The Pit with the likes of former champion Chuck Liddell and a number of other quality fighters training in The Pit ohana (Hawaiian word for family). He left in The Pit 2008 and three years later is picking up where he left off.

“The UFC picked him up and wanted to sign him,” said Hackleman. “Their lawyers did their research to make sure everything was good. Then we all found out he had some green card issues. Basically he was told that he would just have to go back to Brazil for three months or so. Somehow that turned into three years.”

During his time away Teixeira continued to train, compete and keep in contact with The Pit.

“We would Skype and I would give him workouts to do,” said Hackleman. “He kept competing but was kind of limited because he didn’t want to commit to representing another gym and everyone wanted him to represent their gym.”

With all his papers in order Teixeira is getting ready for battle on UFC FOX6 in Chicago. When asked how he feels the fight with Jackson is going to end, Hackleman responded, “I think Glover’s conditioning and power is going to win out by the second round.”

This will be Teixeira’s third UFC bout. It is hard to predict who he will face next if all goes as planned on January 26th. “There are so many,” said Hackleman. “Forrest would be good. They say Stephan Bonner, but that’s probably not going to happen. It is hard to match Glover because he is not just one thing. He can fight anyone.”

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