Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was given an opportunity to get right back in and compete for the title. Rua, however, turned down the chance to face Jon Jones in September at UFC 152.
“(Lorenzo Fertitta) tells me Shogun Rua also turned down shot at Jones to set up (Vitor) Belfort as Sept. 22 opponent,” LA Times writer Lance Pugmire posted on Twitter. Fertitta also told Pugmire, “Thank God Belfort is from the same generation as LIDDELL, Hughes, etc. REAL Fighter!”
Belfort and Jones will face each other on September 22 at UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort for the title. Belfort was originally set to face Alan Belcher in October.
Rua, who defeated Brandon Vera earlier this month, but was bypassed for a shot at the title by Lyoto Machida, is scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson in December. Machida turned down the rematch with Jones late Thursday evening.