Turning back the clock may just be an expression often used a bit too liberally, but in the case of former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (22-8), it actually fits the bill.
Rua achieved this feat by flattening James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane earlier this month.
After the win, rumors of a drop to middleweight or perhaps a bout with light heavyweight top contender Phil Davis were popular especially after Davis expressed interest in the bout.
Instead, it would appear that Rua will stay at 205 where he hopes to once again capture UFC gold: “The light-heavyweight division is the toughest division,” he told MMAJunkie.com.
“I won two world titles in this division, so I’m adapted to it. My dream is to win the title again, but I’m only thinking about my next fight. I’m not thinking about the title now.”
Rua would have to not only work his way back up one of the promotion’s deepest divisions, but in order to win back the title he would have to defeat the man who took the belt from him, Jon Jones.
Rua also went on to give credit to Demian Maia’s team for his performance against Te Huna as he rebounded from a lackluster performance against Chael Sonnen in August, drawing criticism for his training leading up to that bout.
“I trained at Demian Maia’s gym in Sao Paulo for two and a half months and everything went perfect,” he said. “The most important is that I won, so I want to dedicate this victory to Demian Maia’s team.
Known for his power as well as his aggressive style, Rua was submitted by Sonnen who implemented his own dominant wrestling game early, submitting Rua after a one-sided grappling exchange. And his most recent fight Mauricio attributed his win into the fact that the fight remained on the feet allowing him to show his diverse striking technique.
“It didn’t make it easier, but the fight was more dynamic,” he said. “That’s my style, and that’s what I like to do.
“I don’t fight waiting for the knockout, but that’s something that can happen because of the small gloves you can knock anybody out with one punch. Thanks God I had some first-round knockouts in my career and that’s what I always go for, and I got the win.”
Rua was on a two-fight skid leading up to this bout having dropped his last two Sonnen and a December 2012 bout to Alexander Gustafsson.