Although there have been rumors recently that the UFC is looking at a booking Antonio Rogerio Nogueira versus “Shogun” Rua, the latter says he’s still thinking about a move to middleweight.
For sometime now, there’s been a lot of talk about whether Rua should drop from 205 to 185, but following his KO loss to Ovince St. Preux in December, those calls have gotten considerably louder. In the past, Rua expressed reservations about making the change, but in a recent interview with Combate, the former champ stated (translation via Bloody Elbow.com):
“I still think about dropping to 185, but now there’s the Lil’ Nog fight possibility. I’m willing to do whatever my team thinks is best for me, though. I’m a soldier and do as I’m told. If they think the drop is viable, I’ll do it. Dropping would be better for me, but it isn’t that simple. I don’t have any opponents on my mind, that’s something I leave to the UFC. I don’t pick them, and I would gladly fight Lil’ Nog or anyone else the UFC puts in front of me”.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Rua can in fact make the drop to 185, and if he can do so safely. But if he can, it would certainly offer the 33 year-old a new lease on his fighting career. Rua has gone 1-4 now in his last five fights and has been finished in three of them.
Clearly, Rua understands that he needs to change things up, as the Brazilian star also relayed that he’s thinking about returning to Rafael Cordeiro’s camp in Los Angeles. Rua used to train with the renowned Kings MMA coach, but more recently, the light-heavyweight’s been holding his camps in Brazil. Cordeiro, if you’re unaware, was one of the driving forces behind the recent championship win of Rafael dos Anjos.
So, it will be interesting to see what Rua decides to do. One can understand why the UFC might want to have him fight “Lil Nog”, as the two are big names in Brazil and the bout would likely move tickets. The two fought once before at PRIDE’s “Critical Countdown” event in 2005, and Rua won the classic via unanimous decision. Rua and the Nogueira brothers are also the coaches for TUF Brazil 4.