Glover Teixeira has revealed that UFC declined him the title fight because he wanted to push it back to UFC 283 in January.
Former light heavyweight champion Teixeira was slated to challenge Jiri Prochazka in an immediate title rematch at UFC 282 on Dec. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. After dropping the belt to Prochazka in a hard-fought first contest, Teixeira looked to get back in the winning column and accomplish what could be his final title run.
Glover Teixeira wanted to push the title fight back to UFC 283
On Wednesday, Prochazka got forced to withdraw from the bout due to a horrible shoulder injury and chose to vacate the title to not hold up the division in case he would be sidelined for an extended period of time. Teixeira turned down a revised title opportunity, leading to speculation about his future.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Glover Teixeira opened up on his discussions with the promotion that led to the new card.
“I told them I needed more time for this guy, that he has a different style,” Teixeira said. “The guy is a southpaw. I said, ‘What about fighting him in Brazil?’ They denied that and said they needed someone to fight in Vegas. I said, ‘OK, I’ll fight Jan in Vegas. If you’re going to throw me off, Jan has a regular stance. Ankalaev is a totally different game. I need more time.”
“This could be my last chance to fight for the title,” Teixeira said. “I want to win this belt. I’m training like a maniac. I am a professional. Every time I show up, I put on a great fight. Win or lose. I’m not going to go in there and just show up to fight a guy because they say so.
“This is a dangerous game and I need to prepare myself the best I can. My family is watching me. I have a lot of students in the gym watching me. I need to be professional. So, I am 100 percent behind the decision I made.”
Teixeira feels disrespected & believes he’s next in line for the gold
Glover Teixeira admitted he felt disrespected by the decision. He believes he is still the top contender and will likely face the new champion next.
“I felt a little disrespected,” he said via Bloody Elbow. “Given everything I’ve done for this company. I’m a bit sad about this whole situation. Why wouldn’t they let me fight Jan? It’s two old timers fighting again, but it would sell more than this Ankalaev fight. We’re two heavy-hitters. It would sell more for sure, no disrespect to Ankalaev. He’s just not that well-known here in America. Maybe he is in Russia, I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t understand these things that they do.”
“I think I’ll fight the winner of the two, because I’m still the No. 1 contender,” Teixeira said. “But they can take anybody they want. They can take someone not even ranked to fight for the title because it’s their company. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’m here. The plan is to fight the winner. I’ve earned that.”
A vacant title bout between former champion Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev will serve as the updated main event of UFC 282.