Mauricio âShogunâ Rua thinks a âmisunderstandingâ must have been to blame for UFC president Dana Whiteâs recent assertion that the Brazilian had told him he would ârather be cut from the UFCâ than face Glover Teixeira.
Rua is adamant he said no such thing, while his management have only commented âwhat do you think?â when asked if that was indeed the reply the UFC had been given when they came looking for Rua to fight Teixeira.
Portal do Vale Tudo caught up with Rua outside his gym in Curitiba, Brasil and asked him what the situation was. Hereâs what Rua said:
âI didnât really understand [the reports] because the UFC didnât say I could be cut nor did I say I would leave them. Fighting is my life, I love to do it, I would never leave UFC because of a fight [I didnât like]. I think it was a misunderstanding.
âThey offered Glover for us. I talked with my team and we decided that Glover would not be interesting right now. Glover is a top fighter, I know him, I respect him. But he just got into the UFC and he has only one fight in the UFC. He needs to get more fights. I had nothing to gain with that fight.
âWe said to the UFC that for now this fight is not interesting to me. After that the UFC offered me Brandon Vera. But the UFC has never thought to cut me nor have I thought to leave the UFC. Iâve never picked my opponents. Iâve fought against the best and I want to keep doing it, to get my chance for the title.
âFor sure Glover is a top fighter but today if I beat him then I would gain nothing so we decided to refuse this fight. But in the future, it can happen.â
At 18-2 and unbeaten since 2005 when a loss to a then-massive Ed Herman put him 2-2, Teixeira has been linked with a move to the UFC for years. But various things prevented it, including visa issues, and he only moved to big league this year.
Last month he submitted Kyle Kingsbury quickly on his UFC debut and he is a dangerous proposition for most of his peers at light-heavyweight. As Rua says, he is something of a lose-lose for a big name fighter because Teixeiraâs low name recognition at this point means that a victory over him earns the winner no kudos, despite Teixeira being extremely dangerous.
Rua faces Brandon Vera on August 4, live on FOX.