Former light heavyweight champ Mauricio Rua isn’t denying he passed on an opportunity to face up-and-coming 205er Glover Teixeira as a replacement for Thiago Silva (who went down with injury). However, he has taken issue with some comments from UFC President Dana White who revealed to media that Rua’s camp had told him “Shogun” would prefer his release from the organization rather than a rumble with Teixeira.
“They asked me to fight Glover. My manager told me and then I talked to my team and we decided not to fight Glover because he’s a top guy but, but he’s building a career in the UFC. He fought once and it was on an undercard, so it’s not fair. I made it clear that it wasn’t interesting for us now. But in a while it may happen, but not now,” said Rua in an interview with TATAME, implying the issue was with Teixeira’s lack of mainstream recognition as opposed to any fear about facing his fellow Brazilian.
“If I defeated him I wouldn’t reach a level of having a chance at the title. He’s a top guy, but he just got here and doesn’t have a history in the UFC. Three, four fights from now it’s possible, but not now,” Rua continued before addressing White’s statements. “Dana White commented I rather leave UFC than fighting him but it was not true. UFC never thought about it (and) neither did I. At (no) point I said I would leave in case I fought him. I just said it was not interesting right now and that’s why we had our agreement. This conversation never happened.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC