A positive COVID-19 test once again forced the cancellation of a light heavyweight showdown between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira, but “Marreta’s” team is hoping to keep the match intact.
The bout was first moved from Sept. 12 to Oct. 3 when Teixeira tested positive for the coronavirus, but Santos also got infected two weeks later. According to Santos’ manager Alex Davis, the UFC has yet to inform if they plan on re-booking the match to a later date or move in a different direction.
“We’re waiting for the UFC,” Davis said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “From our side, we’ve waited for Glover when he had COVID. Glover is a good friend of ours and this is a sad part of this fight, but we understand that this is the fight to make to determine the next light heavyweight contender. That’s one of the reasons why we would like to keep this fight on.”
Longtime UFC king Jon Jones vacated the 205-pound belt in August, and the company booked Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz for the undisputed gold in the co-main event of Fight Island’s UFC 253 on Sept. 26.
Davis said the UFC offered alternatives on short notice when Teixeira tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, but they opted to wait for the fellow Brazilian. The veteran manager declined to reveal which names were offered as replacements. Their hope is that Teixeira chooses to wait for Santos this time.
“Marreta” is still following a quarantine in the United States, and Davis believes he would be ready to fight again by November.
“We know the UFC has its interests and we know something might change in that sense, but I want to re-affirm that this is the logical fight to determine the next contender,” Davis said. “In a perfect world, this is the correct path to follow.”
Santos hasn’t fought since a split decision loss to then-champion “Bones” Jones in July 2019. “Marreta” went 3-0 as a light heavyweight prior to the close setback with a trio of finishes over Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz. Teixeira, on the other hands, looks to keep the momentum going after wins over Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba, Nikita Krylov and Anthony Smith.
“Thiago is the No. 2, he fought Jon Jones with two injured knees and got to a split decision that some people think he won, and no one’s ever done that to Jon Jones,” Davis said. “I do think he deserves to fight Glover, and the winner gets to fight for the title. Glover is coming off wonderful performances, too. The others aren’t on a winning streak or haven’t been in the UFC for that long. Thiago and the whole team think it’s just fair.”