UFC light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira explained why he turned down the chance to fight at UFC 259 for the backup role instead.
The 41-year-old Teixeira is currently the No. 1 contender in the UFC light heavywight division following a submission win over Thiago Santos in his last fight. The Brazilian has won his last five straight fights and many analysts thought he should have been next in line to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. Instead, the UFC decided to give the next title shot at 205lbs to Israel Adesanya. Blachowicz and Adesanya will now headline UFC 259 on March 6, with Teixeira flying to Las Vegas to serve as a backup for the fight.
While the fact he’s the backup is a good thing, some fans were curious why Teixeira isn’t booked to fight on the card when, for example, Santos is fighting Aleksandar Rakic instead. Speaking to AG Fight, Teixeira said that it was his own decision not to accept another opponent for UFC 259. For Teixeira, the only fight he will accept at this point is for the belt.
“When the UFC called me, I was asked if I wanted to fight on the same day. I said I wanted to stay in reserve and said I didn’t want to fight anyone at the event other than the belt. Anyway, I would fight a champion, since Adesanya is a middleweight champion too and it would be beneficial But I am sure that my next fight will be for the belt, even if I don’t enter it now,” Teixeira said.
At age 41, Teixeira was hoping that UFC president Dana White would give him the title shot, but the promotion chose Adesanya instead. With so many injuries and COVID-19 related issues canceling fights left and right these days, it just may turn out to be a good decision by Teixeira to turn down another opponent and wait to fight for the belt instead.
Do you think Glover Teixeira should have taken a fight at UFC 259 or did he make the right call by serving as the backup instead?