Word to managers everywhere: keep it brief when discussing your clients with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White. You might get put on blast in the media.
That's what happened with Mauricio Rua after he reportedly declined a fight against Glover Teixeira when matchmaker Joe Silva offered it to him following Thiago Silva's injury and subsequent removal from the UFC 149 fight card.
"Shogun's" people claimed this never happened and when reports had hit the news wire, they still weren't even entirely sure Silva was officially out. But he was and the Brazilian needed a new opponent, and fast.
So why wouldn't he want to fight Teixeira?
Any response to that is simply speculation, especially considering the fact that Rua has yet to concede he actually turned down said fight. It's White who is so insistent on that being the case and he reiterated that point to Ariel Helwani recently, going so far as to say "Shogun" would have rather been cut from the UFC than fight Teixeira:
"(Shogun Rua) said he would actually rather be cut than have to fight (Glover Teixeira). Dude, nobody wants to fight this guy. Nobody wants to fight this guy. We're trying to match this guy up with somebody but he didn't mind fighting Brandon Vera, so he's fighting Brandon Vera. I don't think (putting Shogun in the main event of UFC on FOX 4) is rewarding him, I don't want to sound like I'm disrespecting Shogun because I'm not, I'm just telling the truth. It's verbatim what his people said when we talked to them. You know me; I tell it like it is. If you don't want that out in public, don't say it to me, don't say it on the phone, cause I'm going to say what was said. But Shogun's a warrior, the guy has fought everybody from PRIDE to the UFC. His last fight with Dan Henderson was awesome. Yeah, it is what it is. I don't think we're rewarding him, it's just one of those weird situations. I've never seen a guy at the level Shogun is at not want to fight a guy so bad."
That's a powerful statement.
True or not, Rua won't have to worry about "The Baker" anymore, as he's been penciled in for the UFC on Fox 4 main event against Brandon Vera on Aug. 4, 2012, in Los Angeles, California.
From Calgary to L.A. and Teixeira to Vera, let the speculation begin on that tradeoff.