Plenty of fight fans were upset when it was announced the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, would challenge current Light Heavyweight kingpin, Jan Blachowicz, in the Polish bomber’s first-ever title defense at UFC 259 on March 6, 2021.
And it had nothing to do with not wanting to see “The Last Stylebender” attempt to become the promotion’s latest “champ-champ.” It had more to do with Glover Teixeira — a true 205-pound fighter who is on a five-fight win streak — was passed over for the title fight against Blachowicz.
But, if things go sideways in the next couple of weeks leading up until showtime, Teixeira could get his title fight after all. That’s because according to a report from MMA Fighting, “Hands of Stone” has been pegged as a back up fighter for the 205-pound title fight. According to Teixeira, he is currently training and will even weigh-in on the Friday prior to the event.
It’s been common practice for the promotion to enlist the services of a worthy alternate to cut weight and serve as an emergency replacement to preserve a legit headlining act for a big pay-per-view (PPV) card. Michael Chandler just did it when he made the trip to “Fight Island” to serve as back up for the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier bout at UFC 254 in Oct. 2020.
Chandler was paid an undisclosed sum for his effort, so it’s safe to say Teixeira will be compensated, too, even if he doesn’t get the chance to fight.
UFC 259 will also feature a women’s Featherweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Megan Anderson as the co-headliner, while Petr Yan defends his Bantamweight title against Aljamain Sterling to round out the trio of championship bouts.