(Photographic proof that Mayhem Miller stole his idea to give C.B. Dollaway a noogie just moments before doing so.)
Call it “The Curse of the 140′s,” because it appears that yet another big fight in what has been a goat rope of a month in MMA matchmaking has been scratched from the books. Those of you expecting a sure-to-be-slugfest between former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and noted brawler Thiago Silva at UFC 149 are going to be more disappointed than a CagePotato contest winner, because word broke this morning that Thiago Silva has been forced to withdraw from his co-main event matchup due to a back injury. Go fucking figure. At this point, it seems the only thing that can save Silva’s spine from shattering into a million pieces would be the back brace that Sweet Dee Reynolds wore to her high school reunion. Or perhaps he just needs to find the David Dunn to his Mr. Glass.
But fret not, Potato Nation, for every shit-filled tunnel has a light at the end of it. In Silva’s absence, the UFC has called upon fellow Brazilian slugger Glover Teixeira to step up and fill the void. Here’s where things get a little muddy, so to speak. It was initially reported, by none other than Dana White, that Shogun had apparently turned down the fight. Here’s what he told MMAJunkie:
With Thiago hurt, we turned to Glover and asked him to go right back in to fight ‘Shogun’ at UFC 149. But ‘Shogun’s’ people are adamantly refusing to take the fight. They want nothing to do with Glover.
Shogun’ wants nothing to do with Glover. But that’s the fight Lorenzo and I are trying to put together.
According to members of Shogun’s camp, however, White’s claims are just a bunch of profanity-ridden malarkey, as they had not even been made aware of the fact that Silva was injured, let alone of a potential replacement.
Rua’s manager, Julio Heller, spoke with Brazilian publication Tatame.com:
TATAME called Rua’s manager, Julio Heller, who guaranteed they never turned down a fight with Teixeira. In fact, Silva’s injury is not official to them yet.
“I just sent a message to the UFC. I’m waiting for their call”, Heller said. “(Turning down a fight with Glover) it’s not true at all.”
Julio said they’ll wait for the UFC before making further comments, and the decision to fight Glover, or any other opponent, is in Shogun and his coach Andre Dida’s hands.
While it’s understandable that Shogun would be hesitant to accept the fight, given he has much more to lose than a relatively unknown (not to mention dangerous) guy like Teixeira has to gain, he has also gone 2-3 in his past five fights, and isn’t exactly in the position to be turning down fights that don’t suit him. Plus, it’s not like a win over Teixeira would lower his stock or anything. Then again, all of his UFC losses have come to either current or former champions (be it PRIDE or UFC), and his loss to Machida at UFC 104 is disputed to this day, so maybe he can do whatever the fuck he wants.
Teixeira is fresh off a first round arm-triangle submission win over TUF 8 veteran Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146, his sixteenth victory in as many contests, whereas Shogun is on the heels of a unanimous decision loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 139.
As for Silva’s umpteenth injury to his back, his manager, Dan Lambert, told MMAFighting that they are hopeful that he will not be sidelined for too long, but he will surely not be back in enough time to prepare for a guy like Shogun. If you recall, Silva’s ever-aching back was the main factor behind his positive test for steroids following his UFC 125 UD win over Brandon Vera.
As of this writing, there have been no updates on the situation, but we will keep you updated as things transpire.
Would you like to see Rua/Teixeira at UFC 149, Potato Nation? And if not, who would make for a fitting replacement?