Former UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira was booked to rematch Jiri Prochazka for the 205-pound title atop the UFC 282 pay-per-view (PPV) event this Sat. night (Dec. 10) in Las Vegas, but “Denisa” blew out his shoulder and was forced to surrender his strap.
The promotion quickly pulled top contender Magomed Ankalaev from his Jan Blachowicz fight — also booked for UFC 282 — and promoted him to event headliner, but Teixiera didn’t want to face the Russian bruiser on just two weeks notice and was subsequently sent to the sidelines.
As a result, Ankalaev vs. Blachowicz was promoted to main event title fight.
“I don’t know why he didn’t accept the fight but hey, if I was him, I don’t know, maybe I wouldn’t accept this fight too,” Ankalaev told The Schmo (transcribed by MMA News). “Because I’m in my prime, I’m only going up, I’m dangerous. He doesn’t want to be in trouble, you know? He’s scared, actually. I believe he’s scared, so this is the reason I believe he didn’t accept the fight.”
The sequence of events left Teixeira feeling “disrespected.”
It’s hard to believe a gamer like Teixeira, who fought Prochazka, Jon Jones, and Anthony Johnson, among other 205-pound killers, would be afraid of any opponent on the current light heavyweight roster and his request to have the fight delayed until UFC 283 in January seemed reasonable.
Unfortunately the promotion was already running on a lean mixture when it came to star power, so taking the light heavyweight title off UFC 282 would have left paying customers with Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon as the top selling point. Fun fight, but not a PPV headliner.
For the revised UFC 282 fight card and PPV lineup click here.