Glover Teixeira being a backup fighter for the planned Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya fight is a real possibility.
Teixeira is coming off a third-round submission win over Thiago Santos in November which put him on a five-fight winning streak.
However, going into that fight, Adesanya was already slated to move up and challenge Blachowicz for the light heavyweight crown. Teixeira was hoping his win over Santos would convince the promotion otherwise but that doesn’t look to be the case as they are now set to collide at UFC 259 on March 6.
So would Teixeira be open to being the backup for that fight?
“Of course,” Teixeira told MMA Fighting. “I’ll be rooting for… [laughs] It sucks, I’ve never rooted for anyone to get hurt, but I’ll be rooting for an injury there [laughs].
“… I just got back from vacation, so I’ll talk to [my manager] ‘Joinha’ [Jorge Guimaraes] and see what we’ll do, but [being a backup fighter] is a possibility. I would have to do a full camp so, even if I have to wait, at least I did a camp, I won’t lose rhythm. Like you said, COVID is complicated, you really have to pull out if you catch it.”
Teixeira Ponders What’s Next For Division
While many observers felt Teixeira was deserving of the next crack, he can understand why Adesanya was given the go-ahead especially when it comes to his popularity and pay-per-view sales.
That said, he does wonder if the division will end up log-jammed if Adesanya were to come out on top.
“If Adesanya wins, what happens then?” Teixeira asked. “Will Adesanya defend at 185 or 205? I don’t know. If that means sitting down and waiting until June, August, I don’t know, maybe I would wait, I don’t mind.
“But, honestly, we don’t know anything. Blachowicz winning would be better for me and everyone else. But if Adesanya wins, what is he going to do? He’s probably going back to 185.”
For now, Teixeira is not worrying too much. He acknowledges that the business is evolving and that super fights as well as trash talking is what creates buzz.
“Honestly, I’m not stressing about the belt,” he explained. “It’s superfights, they come up with belts when there are none in line, like the baddest motherf*cker [belt]. It’s about entertaining, and I’m not against that. They see the business side of it, Dana White sees where the money is coming. Honestly, it delays a bit for us but, hey, we have to follow the evolution of the sport, and that’s how the sport is evolving these days.
“When I started fighting, the sport was more about aggressive fighters, knockouts, Wanderlei Silva-style, Chuck Liddell. To kill or get killed. That’s what I’ve done in my fights. There’s no talk, it’s about going there to kill or get killed. I’ve been knocked out, I go for it no matter who I’m fighting, but that’s not what sells today. I’m stuck with the old school, that’s when I should be fighting. That’s my time. Wanderlei, PRIDE days, Chuck Liddell’s, Tito Ortiz’s…
“I don’t have that in me. [Paulo Costa] ‘Borrachinha’ does that really well. I think Brazilians should really do that because it draws attention. You can’t sit and complain. It’s not my thing, but also I’m 41 and I won’t change now. I’ll continue doing what I’ve always done. But if I were young… People talk crap about Borrachinha, but he’s right. He just got here, he’s in his prime, and he’s using that in his advantage. If I had his age and was just getting started in the UFC, I’d talk a lot as well.”
Hopefully, Teixeira won’t have to wait too long for another title shot especially as he turns 42 later this year.