"With Thiago hurt, we turned to Glover and asked him to go right back in to fight 'Shogun' at UFC 149, But 'Shogun's' people are adamantly refusing to take the fight. They want nothing to do with Glover."
These were Dana White’s exact words to the media on June 1st.
Thiago Silva unfortunately added to the UFC’s injury woes, pulling out of a highly anticipated fight with fellow top light heavyweight and legend, Mauricio Shogun Rua. Dana White and Zuffa management offered Shogun and his camp the fight with rising light heavyweight Glover Teixeira but later would say they want nothing to do with Glover.
The fans were quick to voice displeasure towards Mauricio Shogun Rua and his camp via discussion forums and on the internet. Many of these comments included the thought of Rua wanting nothing to do with Teixeira.
There are many reasons why I find these opinions to be untrue and ridiculous. Mauricio Shogun Rua is a legend who has fought everyone when asked and has never backed down from a fight.
And why would he be one (or his camp/people rather) to deny a fight with Glover Teixeira? Sure, Glover Teixeira absolutely dominated Kyle Kingsbury, he looked good. Nobody will deny that. However, good enough to beat the consensus top five light heavyweight and former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Shogun Rua? That is a very debatable claim.
When you look at the two stylistically there is not much that shows why Glover Teixeira would absolutely crush Mauricio Shogun Rua. Does he have the grappling/ground advantage? They are both black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so that is tough to say. This fight would arguably take place on the feet, standing up. Both of these fighters love to knock out or finish their opponents on the feet. Both have demonstrated good skills standing up, but Shogun has been certified a legend due to knocking out people. Has Teixeira yet? Shogun in his last fight stood toe to toe for five rounds in a fantastic fight with fellow legend Dan Henderson who is known to have some of the most brutal knockouts in mixed martial arts history. Glover Teixeira’s biggest accomplishment has been, well, maybe finishing Rameau Sokoudjou before he became a hot commodity in PRIDE FC.
Speaking of PRIDE FC, Shogun fought two fighters who were top light heavyweights at the time in one night to gain the 2005 light heavyweight grand prix title. This proved he was the top light heavyweight at the time and shows he will fight anyone on short notice at the time.
As a matter of fact, no one has flat out ever handed Mauricio Shogun Rua a one sided beating like many are speculating Glover Teixeira would hand out to Shogun, except current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Does Teixeira really after a UFC debut win over Kyle Kingsbury deserve to be put in the same realm as Jon Jones?
I have been following Glover Teixeira for a long time. There is no doubt he is a fantastic fighter. He also has the potential to go very far in the UFC right now. He could also live up to the hype. He possesses amazing hands and feet standing up, and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt to go with those skills. He’s not only been hyped up by hard core mixed martial arts fans; the people who train with him know he is damn good.
But let’s not get a little ahead of ourselves and assume Mauricio Shogun Rua is afraid of him. He has been proven to never back down to any opponent. Dana White has also been known to fabricate many stories. Maybe Shogun Rua’s camp and/or management turned down the fight with Glover Teixeira. There are valid reasons behind that, as it could be viewed as a lose/lose fight to them (you know, if Shogun wins, Teixeira is an unknown to the mainstream fans; if Shogun loses, he flies down the ranks since he lost to what is considered an unknown to the mainstream fans). But if they were in the similar spot in the rankings and the mainstream fan base of the Ultimate Fighting Championship knew who Glover Teixeira was, Shogun would most definitely accept a fight with him.