Why is everyone ducking Glover Teixeira?

Or, to phrase it in a more politically correct manner: why do people think that Glover Teixeira is not a “big enough name” to accept a fight with?

Teixeira, at only 32 years of age, may be new to UFC fight cards, but he is no stranger to mixed martial arts or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, having recently performed in Shooto and ADCC competition. When it comes to MMA training, all of the best camps know the “who’s who” of the scene, even if they haven’t yet competed on the biggest stage.

Most camps also house current and former BJJ world competitors, and the best know how dangerous top-level BJJ fighters can be inside the ring. No matter how good of a striker a guy is, he knows that any fight can go to the ground, and a good enough BJJ black belt has the ability to submit whoever they want given the right set-up.

In the case of Teixeira, not only is he a BJJ black belt that has competed at the highest level against the best in the world, but he is also a guy that has an 18-2 professional MMA record and hasn’t lost since 2005.

The catch?

Most of his wins are by basically pounding the snot out of anybody they put in front of him. This is not exactly BJJ 101.

Teixeira is a native Brazilian who currently coaches and trains out of John Hackleman’s famous camp, The Pit. The Pit includes trainers and fighters with names like Chuck Liddell, Court McGee, Ramsey Nijem and Antonio Banuelos. Other notable fighters that have trained at The Pit have included Tito Ortiz and Tim Kennedy.

Needless to say, Teixeira is not exactly training at the local YMCA. He is a bad dude, undefeated in seven and a half years, with 11 wins by knockout. One of his losses was a second-round TKO in his first-ever fight in 2002, and the other was a decision loss to the UFC’s Ed Herman back in 2005.

Since his last loss, Teixeira has rolled through former UFC fighters Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Marcio Cruz, Marvin Eastman and Ricco Rodriguez. His last fight was his UFC debut at UFC 146 in Las Vegas on May 26, where he absolutely dismantled Kyle Kingsbury in under two minutes. He crushed Kingsbury with an early uppercut, sending him practically unconscious to the mat. Teixeira immediately secured mount and put his opponent in an arm-triangle choke to earn the win.

Teixeira’s fight against Kingsbury was in the UFC light heavyweight division. He has competed at both light heavyweight and heavyweight throughout his professional career, so he can perform as a big 205-pounder or a smaller 265-pound fighter.

At UFC 146, Kingsbury was riding a 4-2 UFC record with notable opponents like Stephan Bonnar, Jared Hamman and Fabio Maldonado. Teixeira’s win over him was a statement, to say the least. He wanted to show people that he is a force to be reckoned with, a display that brought his winning streak to sixteen straight fights.

In fact, Teixeira made such a statement that nobody wants to fight him now.

In June, at the post-fight press conference for UFC on FX 3, UFC President Dana White said that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua would rather be cut from the promotion than fight an unranked fighter in Teixeira. This was in reference to finding a UFC 149 replacement for Shogun after Thiago Silva suffered an injury a little over a month before the fight.

The crazy thing about turning down the unranked Teixeira is the fact that Shogun accepted a fight against an equally unranked Brandon Vera a short while later. But, this isn’t the first time somebody of significance has turned down a fight with Teixeira.

In 2010, current UFC newcomer and Maximum Fighting Championship veteran Ryan Jimmo, who was 13-1 and three years undefeated at the time, refused to fight Teixeira at MFC 27. Jimmo, in his next fight, won the MFC heavyweight title, which he defended twice before moving over to the UFC, a win streak that would most certainly have been broken by the beast, Teixeira.

So, what is with top contenders ducking this fight?

In reality, with the current status of UFC’s light heavyweight division, Teixeira is the biggest threat to Jon Jones’ title, but nobody will give him the opportunity, which, frankly, is a bit of political gaming.

Next month, at UFC 153, Teixeira will face fellow Brazilian Fabio Maldonado. Maldonado may have opened up his UFC career with a TKO of James McSweeney in round three, but his last two fights were decision losses to Kyle Kingsbury and Igor Pokrajac. The promotion originally had Teixeira set to face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but Rampage, in preparation for his final fight in the UFC, sustained an injury and had to withdraw.

Who can blame Rampage for a fairly short-notice injury?

Not that his injury was a fake, but it was an awfully convenient one. For a guy like Rampage, with a ton of pride and an impressive professional MMA legacy, nobody wants to go out at the hands of Teixeira in the first round, which is the most likely outcome of that fight. And, this will almost certainly be the outcome of his fight with replacement Maldonado, which was not the number one choice of White and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.

Stephan Bonnar was one of the choices to face Teixeira at UFC 153 as his final professional fight, but Bonnar turned the fight down. His reason wasn’t quite as dramatic as Shogun’s, but was much more cheesy. Bonnar didn’t want to fight Teixeira because the Brazilian-born fighter has fewer Twitter followers. At least Rampage was out due to injury. Counting Twitter followers is a lame reason to duck a fight.

Rumors abound, nobody wants to fight this guy. Teixeira is a complete animal and will get his shot at the light heavyweight title. People can keep ducking him, but he will eventually get his shot at the best, and will most likely continue his tornado-like tear through the division until getting that opportunity.

Teixeira is a scary individual and is probably the best match-up for Jon Jones at this point. He is a destructive striker with a record of blasting heavyweights, but is also a BJJ black belt who has competed on the ADCC circuit.

One thing’s for sure. Whoever’s face has the misfortune of meeting with Teixeira’s fist will definitely understand why, with the name Glover, he requires no nickname.

Photo: Everyone is afraid of Glover Teixeira, except these ring girls (Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog)