Glover Teixeira is no spring chicken -- he is 33 years old and his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career began more than one decade ago back in 2002. And despite being on a 15-fight win streak with only one of them going the distance, not many fight fans knew who he was before he made his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut at UFC 146 in 2012.
That's the reason, according to Quinton Jackson -- who will take on the Brazilian brawler at UFC on Fox 6 on Jan. 26, 2013, in Chicago, Illinois -- many fighters passed on the opportunity to fight Teixeira. Even though his most notable victories are over washed up veterans like Ricco Rodriguez and Marvin Eastman.
In fact, company president Dana White boldly claimed that "nobody wanted to fight this guy" in reference to Teixeira after revealing Mauricio Rua would have rather been cut than to take a fight against his fellow countryman at UFC on Fox 4 last year. Unsurprisingly, the 2005 Pride FC Middleweight Grand Prix champion admitted that he simply didn't feel he had much to gain from fighting Teixeira because he had just made his debut with the promotion.
High risk, low reward.
According to "Rampage" -- who agreed to the fight, which will likely mark his last for the promotion -- he feels people don't want to fight Teixeira because nobody knows who he is and he hasn't really fought any top names in the sport. He also said "Shogun" probably doesn't respect Teixeira, which is the real reason he declined the bout in the first place.
His words from the recent (Jan. 15, 2013) UFC on Fox 6 media confernce call:
"I think the reason why people didn't want to fight him is, 'who is he?' People haven't really heard of him. If you look at Glover's record, who has he really fought? He hasn't fought any top names. The biggest guy he fought was Ricco Rodriguez and he's past his time. I fight for my career and I never turn down a fight the UFC offered me. The only person I tried to duck was Matt Hamill because he was a boring fighter. I seen the videos of him trying to hold me against the cage and wrestle me. He's not a real fighter. Shogun probably didn't want to fight him because he doesn't respect him."
Despite the initial turn down, Rua later revealed that a fight between him and Teixeira can still happen in the future, adding that he does indeed "know and respect him."
Regardless of Jackson's theory, if people didn't know who Teixeira was before, they do now after he displayed a dangerous all-around skill set in his first two bouts inside the Octagon. He showed off his slick jiu-jitsu moves in his first round submission over Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146, which he then followed up with a brutal beat down of Fabio Maldonado, forcing a referee stoppage in the second stanza at UFC 153.
Not bad, but not great.
As Jackson looks to cut ties with his long-time employer and go out a high note, he will likely have his work cut out for him in the "Windy City." Then again, Teixeira has never competed against such an experienced and accomplished champion, meaning that his current 17-fight win streak could just be the result of padded mismatches.
Is Teixeira a pretender or a contender? We'll find out in less than a fortnight.