LAS VEGAS – UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who still has viable contenders in his division, appears to be on deck for light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, who has yet to defend his newly won belt.

But a fighter who has been doing work at 205 pounds thinks he has the best case for a shot Blachowicz.

Glover Teixeira earned his fifth consecutive victory Saturday night with a third-round submission of Thiago Santos in the exciting UFC on ESPN+ 40 main event.

Four of those victories have come by finish, and two of those four – against Santos and Anthony Smith – were against fighters who went the distance when challenging former champion Jon Jones.

That last tidbit is not lost on Teixeira.

“My last five fights, I got four finishes – top contenders,” he said. “The last two guys are guys that went to decision with Jon Jones ,and I was able to finish them and show a great fight. I wanted to finish fights to prove a point.”

To get to this point, though, Teixeira had to go on a roller coaster ride with the heavy-hitting Santos, who had him in trouble in both the first and third rounds. For Teixeira, it was just a matter of perseverance.

“I was able to see all the punches,” Teixeira said. “In the second round. I could see he was getting weaker, and I knew he was getting weaker in the third round, so I knew I was going to catch him. He was getting tired.”

Teixeira very nearly finished the fight at the end of the second round with a super tight rear-naked choke, but Santos was saved by the horn.

“If it was 10 more seconds, I sink in the choke – and it was deep,” Teixeira said. “He heard the clap for the 10 seconds and I kind of got discouraged a little bit, but I squeezed the heck out of him, anyway. But it was 10 more seconds. I know the choke was deep.”

Ultimately, Teixeira went right back to that move when the opportunity presented itself again and got the job done in the third.

So maybe Teixeira nudged his way into a title shot, or maybe he’ll have to sit and wait on Blachowicz vs. Adesanya. If the UFC goes with the latter, Teixeira might have to take one more fight in the meantime. But after surviving Santos’ sledgehammers, he’s not thinking about that just yet.

“Right now, I just want eat a pizza and relax, OK?” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to make a decision on that right now to talk about fighting right now. My face is hurting. Let’s see what’s going on.”