Maurício “Shogun” Rua (21-6) ended 2009 as the UFC light heavyweight champion. Since then, he has lost the championship and has been unable to gain much momentum. His coach, Andre Dida, recently spoke about how Rua is more ready than ever when he takes on Alexander Gustafsson (14-1).
“Mauricio fans can rest easy,” said Dida to TATAME. “Shogun is better today than in the struggles against Lyoto Machida. Our focus is to make a great fight against the Sweden.”
Rua lost his championship shot against Lyoto Machida (18-3) before defeating him six months later to claim the gold. He dropped the title in his next fight against current champion Jon Jones (17-1). Since then he has been unable to mount enough wins to challenge for the title again.
Gustafsson is 6-1 since debuting for the UFC in 2009. His only loss was at UFC 112. With the exception of his last fight, Gustafsson has stopped all of his opponents by way of TKO or submission.
Rua vs. Gustafsson will be the co-main event of UFC on FOX 5. The show takes place December 8 from Seattle.
“We are doing a very good job with Shogun in Curitiba,” said Dida. “He is very excited [and] motivated training at 7 a.m. in the morning. He is in shape, flying and we are sure that on the 8th he will perform very well.