Glover Teixeira is looking for a fight, but there aren’t a lot of options. Things were looking good in his march back to title contention, but with the news that No. 3 ranked light heavyweight Anthony Johnson had to pull out of their UFC on FOX 20 fight, the UFC is scrambling. Unfortunately, this is a situation in which only the UFC is to blame. Light heavyweight is arguably the weakest division in the UFC right now, with a cabal of fighters that have mostly already fought and definitively beat each other.
Now Teixeira is near the top of the division, coming off an impressive knockout over former champ Rashad Evans, and is left with no one to fight. So he has offered to fight anyone.
“Ed (Soares) is talking to Joe Silva. I don’t care. Anyone,” he said. “I’m not the type of fighter to call someone out. I challenged Anthony Johnson because he was going to wait, and he’s the No. 1 contender. That fight made a lot of sense to me because a win would get me next to a title shot. I’d be the next in line. I don’t have much choice now. Bring anyone.”
So who can the UFC bring on short notice? UFC on FOX 20 goes down on July 23, and with medical suspensions and a general shifting of previously agreed-to fights, there are only a few options left. My personal, No. 1 choice for a replacement would be current middleweight Gegard Mousasi, who had his UFC 200 fight against Derek Brunson put in flux after Brunson got hurt, but Thiago Santos stepped in quickly. So now what?
We’re going to have to go somewhat deep to the well here. The irony is that collectively, World Series of Fighting and Bellator have decent light heavyweight divisions compared to the UFC’s band of men that have fallen to Jon Jones (everyone would fall to Jon Jones, let’s be clear). There’s a reason why there’s only a single light heavyweight fight on this card. So, let’s start with the easy one.