Former light-heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira has revealed why he’s no longer fighting at UFC 282, after a whirlwind 24 hours in which his headlining title rematch with Jiri Prochazka was cancelled due to his opponent suffering a serious shoulder injury and a new headliner was announced.
In a new interview Teixeira confirms reports that he had turned down the opportunity to fight Magomed Ankalaev for the title instead after Prochazka vacated the belt, which led to Jan Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev becoming the new main event instead.
“I told them I needed more time for this guy [Ankalaev], that he has a different style,” Teixeira said. “The guy is a southpaw. I said, ‘What about fighting him in Brazil?’ [at UFC 284 in January]. They denied that and said they needed someone to fight in Vegas.
“I said, ‘OK, I’ll fight Jan [Blachowicz] 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.”
In a separate interview Teixeira stated that the UFC told him that they didn’t want him to fight Blachowicz because he’d already beaten him last year to win the title, and he admits that he doesn’t like how they handled the situation.
“I felt a little disrespected,” Teixeira admitted to the Super Lutas YouTube channel. “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.”
Nevertheless, with Prochazka potentially out of action for at least six months, but with the suggestion that it may actually be as much as a year, the 43-year-old Teixeira feels that he should be next in line to fight the new champion that will emerge from the Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev match-up.
“I think I’ll fight the winner of the two, because I’m still the No. 1 contender,” Teixeira told ESPN. “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.”