UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is currently out of action nursing a knee injury for which he recently received surgery. He is expected to make his return sometime at the start of next year against “Suga” Rashad Evans and MMAMania recently got their hands on an interview the Brazilian conducted with Gazeta do Povo at his gym Universidade da Luta in which he discussed everything from his recovery to a proposed bout with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
“If everything walks well my doctor said that I could start fighting in December,” “Shogun” said of his knee recovery. “But to get a more comfortable return I prefer to fight in January or February. I wish to give time to time. The UFC is a big partner, they don’t hurry me up, they let me feel comfortable to decide.”
Rua was asked if he is being hurried at all by the UFC or if there will be an interim title contested in his absence. The former Chute Boxe standout revealed that things are quite the opposite and that the UFC is allowing him all the time he needs to recover without threatening to put on an interim title shot.
“(Laughs) Actually I got a special care for UFC, Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White,” he said. “They welcomed me with all the possible comfort in Las Vegas after the surgery. I stayed five days there in rehabilitation. They let me at ease to come back when I wanted. There won’t be interim belt contention.”
A former PRIDE FC champion, Rua spent time in his early days training with middleweight dynamo Anderson Silva in the famed Chute Boxe camp in Brazil. Many fans are calling for a match up between the two exciting fighters and, while he expressed more interest in fighting Randy Couture or rematching Forrest Griffin, Rua did reveal that he is open to a fight with “The Spider.”
“Like I already told, Anderson and I were friends a long time ago,” Rua said. “I’d fight him for sure but I don’t have this wish. I would fight him for professionalism. I am UFC employee and if this is a fight that they want, then I also want it.”
Despite holding the championship in what is arguably the UFC’s most stacked and volatile division, Rua remains humble and explained that he has much to learn still in his fighting career, which he hopes will continue for many more years.
“I have to improve so much yet,” said “Shogun.” “Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, chiefly in wrestling. If I guess I’m good I stop to develop my skills. I feel accomplished but I own many dreams to achieve. Certainly I have wood to burn. I think to fight for another seven years at the minimum.”