Glover Teixeira Explains Why He Declined New Opponent at UFC 282
Glover Teixeira had an opportunity to fight for the light heavyweight title at UFC 282 even after Jiri Prochazka exited the card, but the Brazilian veteran ultimately declined the alternative option.
Prochazka vacated the 205-pound belt after suffering a serious shoulder injury that could sideline him for up to a year. Teixeira revealed in an interview with ESPN that the UFC offered him a matchup against Magomed Ankalaev in place of the rematch with Prochazka. The 43-year-old opted against the fight because he felt like it was too short of notice to prepare for a completely different opponent.
"I told them I needed more time for this guy, that he has a different style," Teixeira said. "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 [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.”
As a result, Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz will now square off for the vacant light heavyweight crown in the new UFC 282 main event. Teixeira believes he deserves to be next in line to face the winner of that fight at a later date.
"I think I'll fight the winner of the two, because I'm still the No. 1 contender," Teixeira said. "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.”
Regardless of how the title picture plays out in the future, Teixeira says he made the decision that was best for him by refusing to face Ankalaev.
"This could be my last chance to fight for the title," Teixeira said. "I want to win this belt. I'm training like a maniac. I am a professional. Every time I show up, I put on a great fight. Win or lose. I'm not going to go in there and just show up to fight a guy because they say so. This is a dangerous game and I need to prepare myself the best I can. My family is watching me. I have a lot of students in the gym watching me. I need to be professional. So, I am 100 percent behind the decision I made.”
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