The UFC's injury woes continue as Brazilian light heavyweight Thiago Silva has been forced to pull out of July's UFC 149 event in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Luckily for UFC president Dana White, promotional newcomer Glover Teixeira (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is both healthy and hungry for a big fight after a scintillating win over Kyle Kingsbury at this past weekend's UFC 146 event.
There's just one problem: According to White, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) – Silva's original opponent – won't take the fight.
"With Thiago hurt, we turned to Glover and asked him to go right back in to fight 'Shogun' at UFC 149," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). "But 'Shogun's' people are adamantly refusing to take the fight. They want nothing to do with Glover."
Teixeria, of course, is a protege of UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell. The Brazilian started his career in 2002 fighting in the U.S., including four WEC appearances in the company's pre-Zuffa days. Visa issues forced the heavy-hitter to return to Brazil, where he continued to fight on his native country's regional scene while awaiting a chance to return to the U.S. In the process, he built a 15-fight win streak that included 12 victories in the opening round.
Teixiera finally resolved his immigration paperwork issues earlier this year and promptly signed with the UFC. He made his debut at this past weekend's UFC 146 event, where he wobbled Kingsbury with heavy leather before swarming for a submission finish with an arm-triangle choke.
After the win, Teixeira told MMAjunkie.com Radio that he was dreaming of potential fights with big names like Rua or Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Now the UFC appears happy to oblige, providing Rua will eventually agree.
Rua is a former UFC light heavyweight champion who earned the title with a UFC 113 win over then-champ Lyoto Machida before surrendering to current title holder Jon Jones at UFC 128. Rua then rebounded with a knockout win of Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 before dropping a unanimous decision to Dan Henderson at this past November's UFC 139 event in a bout many experts considered 2011's "Fight of the Year."
White said there is currently no timeframe on an official announcement of the new matchup, but he and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta are both diligently working to secure the new fight. One fighter is in, said White. Now he's just waiting on the former champ.
"'Shogun' wants nothing to do with Glover," White said. "But that's the fight Lorenzo and I are trying to put together."
Featuring a featherweight title fight between current champ Jose Aldo and top contender Erik Koch, UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome. The evening's main card airs on pay-per-view.
For more on UFC 149, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.