Mauricio “Shogun” Rua Preferred Being Axed Over Fighting Glover Teixeira

The news that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua really didn’t want to fight Glover Teixeira came out earlier this month. But on Friday, Dana White gave a little more information on Rua’s decision to turn down a fight with the new UFC light heavyweight prospect, saying the former champion was even willing to be released from the organization rather than take a fight with Teixeira.

Rua was scheduled to face Thiago Silva at UFC 149 next month, but Silva fell off the card with an injury. The UFC asked Rua to take on fellow Brazilian Teixeira, who this past month debuted in the promotion with a first-round submission of Kyle Kingsbury to extend his winning streak to 16. With Rua turning down that fight, he was shifted earlier this week to the headlining spot of UFC on FOX 4 in August, where he’ll now meet Brandon Vera.

“He would rather be cut than fight him,” White said following Friday’s post-fight press conference for UFC on FX 3.

“No (I’m not OK with him saying that), but you know what? It’s one of those very weird situations to hear one of the top-five guys in the world say, ‘I’d rather be cut than fight a guy who isn’t ranked,’ and the reason they were saying that was, ‘Oh, he’s not top 10.’ But then we offered him Brandon Vera and he took it in two seconds – and Vera isn’t top 10 either.”

“‘Shogun’s’ on free TV (now), and he’s coming off one of the greatest fights ever in mixed-martial-arts history. The reality is, ‘Shogun’ is a guy whom I respect, the guy’s been through a million wars with all the best guys in the world. But for some reason, he does not want to fight this dude Glover. And you know me – if you don’t want me to tell the truth, don’t say stuff to me on the phone. That’s exactly what happened. That’s exactly the way it went down. And me and (UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) said, ‘Look, you can’t turn down fights at this level. The money you’re making and where you are ranked in the world, you don’t turn down fights at this level. We might have to cut you.’ He said, ‘I’d rather be cut than fight him.'”

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