UFC President Dana White provided an update on UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and the light heavyweight championship on this week’s edition of MMA Live. The number one contender for Shogun’s belt – “Suga” Rashad Evans – happened to be on the panel, and had a key interest in the champ’s return. Evans asked White if Rua would be returning this December as some members of Shogun’s camp have been stating.
“People keep asking me why he’s had so many knee surgeries,” White said of Rua wanting to return this winter. “That’s exactly why he’s had that many knee surgeries. First of all, we sent him to the best doctor in the United States to get his knee fixed and this kid keeps pushing it because he wants to get out there faster and faster.
“I completely respect him for that, he’s an animal. I love it, but there’s no way he’s gonna be ready by December. He’s looking at spring… early summer.”
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, who lost the belt in a rematch against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 113 this past May, has talked about matching himself up against Evans for an interim title until Rua can return. Evans recently stated that he was not interested in fighting for an interim belt, and asked White if one would be created.
“No, we’re not going to do an interim title,” said White. ”We know this kid is coming back. He’s already had the surgery, we know exactly the date that he can come back. He’s obviously pushing for earlier, which I obviously am not a big fan of. The kid’s had three knee surgeries because he’s pushed it too hard.”
With Machida slated to face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson later this year, Evans will have to decide if he will wait for nearly a year for Shogun, or risk his title shot and fight earlier.