Coming off his first victory in over a year, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua has decided to stay in the UFC light heavyweight division. A compelling knockout of James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 reassured Rua that dropping weight classes is not an option.
“I’ll stay at 205. There’s no way (I can drop to 185),” Rua told MMA Fighting. “I spoke with my team after the fight and they said I shouldn’t (move down), so I won’t. I’ll stay at 205. The light-heavyweight division is the toughest division. 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.”
Following losses to Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson, Rua needed a victory to prove his relevance. He has an uninspiring 6-6 record since joining the UFC in 2007, a stark contrast to the 12-1 PRIDE record that made him one of the most feared middleweights in the world.
Speculation surrounds Rua’s next fight, which may be against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Rua beat Nogueira in their only previous meeting, a unanimous decision victory for Rua that earned Fight of the Year honors.
“(My next fight) could be ‘Minotouro.’ He’s done great recently so this fight could happen (next),” Rua said.
A much-anticipated UFC 161 match between the Brazilians was scrapped when Nogueira sustained a back injury. With both fighters near the twilight of their careers, a loss could end their stint in the UFC.