Former UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is currently on deck to face off against his fellow Pride FC superstar Dan Henderson under the UFC banner this November. The bout could go a long way in making a case for Henderson, who left his Strikeforce light heavyweight championship to compete again in the UFC, as a title contender at 205lbs., but the case isn’t so clear for Rua.
Rua lost the title to current champion Jonny “Bones” Jones in a one-sided affair last March and, though he’s steamrolled former champ Forrest Griffin since, he may need to rack up more than two wins before he’s in line for a title shot again. But, that’s fine by his camp; Rua’s manager, Eduardo Alonso, spoke with Tatame recently, explaining that Shogun is just looking to keep on fighting and doing well, the rest will fall into place in due time.
“Fighting for the belt or not is a natural consequence, it’s not something we have to worry about,” said Alonso. “We can’t predict what will come to us. The important is for us to do our jobs, than later we’ll see. If it’s worth the title, great. If it’s not, there’s no big deal about it, we’ll keep on working.”
Still, a win over Henderson would be a big feather in Rua’s cap. Henderson is one of the most experienced, dangerous and respected competitors in the sport and has been on a roll as of late. That alone is enough to get Rua fired up, no title shot necessary.
“I guess a win over Dan Henderson, to anyone, is a big deal,” he said. “It doesn’t matter in which division it is. Dan Henderson is on top since Rings. He’s the current Strikeforce champion on the weight class, he’s coming from impressive wins, including the one over Fedor, which is something we can never undermine. Beating Dan Henderson is a great deal for one’s career.”
Rua and Henderson will square off on November 19 in the main event of UFC 139, the promotion’s first foray into San Jose, California.