Source: MMA Fighting
Dana White had some serious criticisms of Shogun Rua Friday night after the UFC on FX 3 fights in Sunrise, Florida. The UFC President said that Shogun or his people, lets face it, they are the same at this point, were dodging Brazilian Glover Teixeira. White said Shogun was so adamant against fighting Teixeira that “he’d actually rather be cut than have to fight him.” Those are some hard words coming from White. Usually, White is known to be a straight shooter, so we don’t know if White was criticizing Shogun or praising Teixeira.
Shogun is coming off a brutal 5 round loss against Dan Henderson last year. There is no doubt that Shogun wants to win his next fight to remain relevant in the light heavyweight division. Teixeira is 18-2 and currently riding 16 fight win streak although all but 1 fight occurred outside of the UFC. His most recent fight was a quick and impressive outing in which Teixeira quickly knocked down Kyle Kingsbury and then submitted him with an arm triangle. The win over Kingsbury itself was not impressive but his body of work, tenacity to finish fights, and high regard in the MMA community makes him a dangerous opponent.
I can’t say I know much about Teixeira beyond the highlights I have seen of him on the internet and his MMA record. The only thing glaring about Teixeira’s record seems to be his loss to Dave Herman. That fight though was in 2005, Teixeira could have improved a lot since then. His 16 fight win streak is proof of that. Physically Teixeira isn’t much to look at but his fighting style appears to be aggressive, the guy has a ferocious right hand and mixes in good combinations. One thing that is apparent is that he likes to finish fights, of his 18 wins, only 2 have come by decision. As far as reputation goes, Teixeira has a lot of credit. Even Joe Rogan said he was a big fan of Teixeira even though most fans haven’t heard of him.
Is Teixeira so scary that a Hall of Famer like Shogun would rather get cut than fight him? I wouldn’t go that far. In all likelihood, Teixeira probably does not provide the type of cache that would get Shogun to take the fight. The fight business is always a risk vs reward industry. There are always fighters that have been ducked because they are dangerous fighters with little name recognition. Teixeira seems to be an example of that. Brandon Vera, although not a respectable opponent by any means, at least is recognizable. I can see why Shogun turned down the Teixeira fight. And as for Teixeira, I am not going to say he is the next big thing in the light heavyweight division just yet. Lets see how he does against quality UFC fighters before we start jumping on the Teixeira hype train.
Update 6/15/2012: Shogun confirmed what all of us believed, he turned down the Teixeira fight because Teixeira was too new to the UFC and would not help Shogun gain in the rankings. Shogun said he is familiar with Teixeira and agreed that a fight between them would be interesting down the road–just not now. He also went on to say he never wanted to be cut, the next opponent given to him was Vera so he took that fight.