If you muttered ‘that’s a tougher fight for Evans’ when it was announced Glover Teixeira was replacing “Shogun” Rua, it looks like “Suga’s” in agreement with you.
Rashad Evans was initially scheduled to fight Rua at UFC on FOX 19, which will go down on Apri 16th. But, after the former light-heavyweight champ went down with an injury, Teixeira was brought in. Recently Evans appeared on the “The MMA Hour”, and while discussing the change, the accomplished fighter stated the following (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“It’s definitely a tougher switch, honestly speaking. Glover is someone who has been gaining momentum by putting together a few good wins and dominating in different fashion. He’s been showing his ground game, showing the fact that he can grind out fights and not just in typical Glover fashion by knocking people out like before. He’s shown that he’s worked on his game and gotten better. So it’s definitely a tougher fight.”
Now sure, a lot of “Shogun” boosters are going to take issue with this opinion from Evans, but chances are, they’re going to be in the minority. While Rua is already considered a legend at the young age of 34, and is coming off a win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, he’s lost four of his last six fights. In 2014, he was taken out by Dan Henderson and Ovince Saint Preux in consecutive bouts.
Although Teixeira has two defeats in his last five outings, those defeats came against Jon Jones and Phil Davis. Both were by decision. No shame in that. Since then, he’s taken out OSP and most recently Patrick Cummins. So although Teixeira is in fact two years older than Rua, there are far less questions about his contender status these days.
UFC on FOX 19 will take place in Tampa, Florida.