Dana White has put former 205lb champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in an uncomfortable position over the past few days by criticizing him for snubbing a potential fight with fellow Brazilian Glover Teixeira.
According to White the reason ‘Shogun’ and his management team didn’t want to fight Teixeira, who proved why he’s been a long-term target for the UFC by submitting Kyle Kingsbury inside two minutes of his promotional debut at UFC 146, because he’s not a ranked fighter at this moment in time.
However, backstage at Friday night’s ‘UFC On FX 3’ event White, who’s hinted that the top fighters at 205lb are well aware of the 18-2 Teixeira’s abilities and are therefore keen to avoid facing him, pointed out a glaring error in their logic.
“The reason that they were saying was because oh he’s not top ten. But then when we offer him Brandon Vera he took it in two seconds. Vera isn’t top ten either,” White told the assembled media.
In all fairness Vera is a much better known fighter than Teixeira at this stage which may be what prompted their decision, but nevertheless he does have a point.
Regardless, whether he meant it or not, the UFC president has done a nice little bit of marketing here on Teixeira’s behalf. Up until this point the Brazilian wouldn’t have been on too many fans radar’s, but by linking him to a much higher-profile fighter like Rua he’s been able to get his name out there, while building up a sense of intrigue around him as a potential sleeping giant.
It remains to be seen whether he’ll live up to the hype – a six year, 16 fight unbeaten run suggests he could – but either way there’s certainly going to be more interest in Teixeira’s next fight now than there would otherwise have been.