Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka were set to rematch for the 205-pound title in Las Vegas after a thrilling showdown in Singapore at UFC 275 in June, which Prochazka won via fifth-round submission, but the company was forced to change plans after the champion withdrew from his first title defense due to a serious shoulder injury.
Teixeira said in an interview with MMA Fighting he heard about the news “less than 30 minutes” before it went public that Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev, the original co-main event of UFC 282, would now be for the vacant title after Prochazka opted to vacate. The Brazilian veteran explained why he was “upset” with the decision.
“I told [the UFC] I would fight Blachowicz on the 10th because I’ve fought him before and it would be easier to adapt, [Ankalaev] is a southpaw,” Teixeira said. “I told them if I had to fight [Ankalaev], to make it in Brazil [on Jan. 21]. And Blachowicz is ranked ahead of him anyways, so I don’t get it. Jan and I are ranked ahead of him, why did they want to — man, whatever. We have to stand our ground. It’s not like that, ‘come here and fight whenever I want.’”
The former UFC champion doesn’t know why the company would insist on booking him against Ankalaev instead of Blachowicz, but feels “that’s what they wanted to do, and that’s what they got.” That, however, won’t change the way he feels about the company.
“I won’t let that affect me inside,” Teixeira said. “I’m a happy and grateful man. You know that saying, you do 1,000 things for someone but becomes the worst man if you don’t do one thing? I won’t say that about the UFC, but they really messed up that day. I spent with a camp and now they took me away from the title fight. I agreed to fight both guys, the only thing I asked was more time to fight Ankalaev. I’m a high-level fighter and I don’t want to be the guy that goes in there, gets kicked in the arm and goes down just for the money.
“I give my blood and life inside the octagon. You’ve all watched my fights before, I leave everything in there. I want to bring the belt back Brazil and for myself, and I believe I can do it. I was beating Prochazka, this hero, the guy everybody said was knocking everybody out. I was breaking him until I made a mistake. I’ll get the belt back, but I have to do things right. I have to go there to win.
“I can’t go there for the money because I don’t fight for money. I fight for honor, I fight to elevate my name. I’m not even attached to wins and losses anymore. I fight for a goal. If I were fighting for money I wouldn’t even be fighting anymore, I would have become a YouTuber or something.”
Asked if he’s confident he will be next for the winner of Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev in 2023, Teixeira said “I’m confident of f****** nothing now.” In fact, the Brazilian said “f*** it, I don’t even care who wins” at UFC 282.
“That would be the logic,” he said of being next in line, “but they do what they want.”
“If they pay me to go to [UFC 282], I’ll go. But if they don’t pay me, of course I’m not going. What am I going to do there?”