Dynamic Brazilian fighter Mauricio “Shogun” Rua recently rectified what many believe was a poor decision made by the judges when he defeated Lyoto Machida via knockout this past May in a rematch of their hotly disputed October 2009 meeting where Machida took home a unanimous decision win. It was announced shortly after he defeated Machida that Rua wouldn’t be able to make a planned title defense against Rashad Evans for an undisclosed amount of time due to undergoing knee surgery. UFC President Dana White made a recent appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter on which he revealed a timetable for Rua’s return to action.
“We did this [surgery] in the United States with the best doctor in the country,” White said. “He’s recovering well, and we’re looking for mid-spring, early-summer.”
The UFC’s light heavyweight belt has changed hands more than any other of the promotion’s championship titles but, for now at least, it will remain secure with “Shogun” in Brazil. The most unfortunate thing to come out of this situation would be for Rua to be unable to perform to the best of his abilities against Evans due to ring rust caused by his mandated time off.
Rua earned much acclaim during his tenure as a fighter in the Pride Fighting Championships and entered the UFC fold upon the 2007 dissolution of Pride. He lost his first fight against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin but would bounce back with two wins in a row over Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell, respectively. The disputed Machida decision would follow but Rua would right that perceived wrong a few months later with his championship-netting knockout win over “The Dragon.”