UFC light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira explained why he turned down the vacant title fight against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282.
Teixeira was supposed to rematch Jiri Prochazka for 205lbs gold at UFC 282 next month. Unfortunately, the fight was scrapped when Prochazka suffered a serious shoulder injury in training, an injury that necessitated his vacating of the belt. Instead of fighting Prochazka, the UFC asked Teixeira to take on Ankalaev instead. However, Teixeira turned down the fight. Now, the new title fight at UFC 282 is a vacant title bout between Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto following the news that his fight against Prochazka at UFC 282 is off, Teixeira explained why he turned down the fight, suggesting it was too short notice for him to fight Ankalaev given he has a different style than Prochazka.
“I told them I needed more time for this guy, that he has a different style. 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,” Teixeira said.
At age 43, Teixeira needs to be smart with his career because his next title shot will likely be his last. Instead of taking the fight against Ankalaev on short notice, Teixeira instead will wait for the Russian and the Pole Blachowicz to fight, and the Brazilian Teixeira’s plan is to fight the winner.
“I think I’ll fight the winner of the two, because I’m still the No. 1 contender. 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,” Teixeira said.
The UFC has not confirmed yet that Teixeira will get the next title shot at 205lbs. There is still a chance that happens, but there are other contenders that could get the next title shot instead.
Do you think Glover Teixeira made the right decision in turning down the vacant title fight against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282?
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