A former illegal immigrant in the United States, Glover Teixeira went through serious drama on his way to fighting in the UFC. With a tight budget, Ingrid Peterson – the American woman who is married to the light-heavyweight sensation – could only rarely leave the US to visit him in Brazil, and he could not cross the US border.

“It’s hard, but he trains very hard, so I know he is ready”, she told Combate.com. “He is mentally and physically strong. We have been waiting for a long time for him to get to the highest level [and contest the UFC belt].

“He went to Brazil but I continued fighting in USA for him to come back home. I visited him once or twice a year. I had to save money and yet I only had my salary. That was very difficult, but we made it.”

Glover met Ingrid when he moved to America illegally in 1999, leaving his home city of Sobralia to go on a 47-day trip which passed through Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. From that latter place he walked across the border, entering the USA via the Californian desert.

Then Teixeira went to live in Dansbury, in Connecticut, and met Ingrid in the academy where he trained. She helped him learn English, they fell in love and got married two years later. In the same period, Glover began his career, joined Chuck Liddell’s team and scored three wins in the WEC.

But when the UFC purchased the smaller organization the Brazilian competitor found himself forced to get his situation in USA regularized in order keep fighting for the company. The immigration laws were changed at the time because of the terrorists attacks on September 11 2001, and Teixeira had to leave Ingrid in Connecticut, pay a fine and return to Brazil to request his visa.

The bureaucratic process lasted four years and the couple spent $8,500 on lawyers – without success. Ingrid even got involved in an accident and suffered psychologically because of the separation. The issue was only resolved after she sent a letter to Senator Chris Murphy, who felt touched and intervened.

The green card was finally released in 2011.

If Glover passes by Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night today, he will likely be the next 205lbs contender and the championship is going to be the perfect close for this love story.

Ingrid can’t relax when watching Glover fight but she is used to it. She is very confident for the main event’s result in Belo Horizonte tonight. “Bader has a chance, but my husband is better,” she says.