Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will return to the Octagon this December to face rising prospect Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz.
During a conference call on Tuesday, Rua was asked about his decision to turn down a fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones earlier this year. Rua was coming off a victory over Brandon Vera just a few weeks prior to the planned Jones bout.
“I was totally off when the UFC offered me the Jones fight,” Rua said. “I didn’t have enough time, just two weeks; that wasn’t enough time for good preparation.”
Instead, Rua will need to have a winning performance vs. Gustafsson to remain in title contention. The 31-year-old improved to 21-6 with his victory over Vera, which made him 3-3 in his last six.