Since Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has lost three of his last four fights, chances are many folks have closed the book on the accomplished fighter’s time as a title contender. Well, not surprisingly, the Brazilian star still believes he could make another title run, and sooner than you might think.
Rua is scheduled to fight British light-heavyweight Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 56 on November 8th, and while speaking to MMA Fighting.com recently about the bout, “Shogun” also weighed in on his title shot prospects. While discussing whether he might be a couple of impressive wins away from challenging for the belt once more, Rua stated:
“I believe so, but I can’t think about it,” Rua said. “I only think about winning my next fight. I have to focus only on my next fight, and not my next ones. If I start thinking about my next three fights, I might lose focus on my next one.”
“I want to win no matter how. I just want to win,” the fighter furthered about the fight, which will take place in Uberlandia, Brazil. “I’m really happy to be doing another UFC main event. This is something that gives me an extra motivation. I’m really, really motivated.”
Now, if Rua bombs out Manuwa next month, and then proceeds to destroy two other contenders in the coming months, of course, a title shot could materialize. Rua is still positioned in the promotion’s top ten ranks after all, at #9. The bigger question is, however, does the 32 year-old still have it in him to do so?
“Shogun” looked great during his first round, KO win over James Te Huna last December, and he was also winning his rematch with Dan Henderson in March, until he was on the wrong end of an “H-Bomb.”
That said, the light-heavyweight division is full of killers, and most fans would likely pick any of the top contenders to defeat Rua at this stage. Thus, this is one of the reasons so many people have speculated how “Shogun” would look at 185.
November 8th will be a stressful night for Rua fans, as Manuwa is a dangerous finisher, and if “Shogun” loses, it would be a monstrous setback.
UFC FN 56 will also feature Ovince St-Preux taking on Francimar Barroso and Ian McCall versus John Lineker.