It’s been nearly six years now since “Shogun” Rua was the UFC’s light-heavyweight champ, but the 35 year-old, Brazilian star still has his sights set on reclaiming the 205 title.
Rua is preparing to face Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 107, which will go down on March 11th in Fortaleza, Brazil. Rua will be looking to extend his winning streak to three at the card, as “Shogun” is coming off wins over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Corey Anderson.
Recently the decorated fighter spoke to MMA Fighting, and during the interview, the 24-10 fighter said this:
“I’m No. 7 in the rankings, but I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t focus too much on rankings and the belt,” Rua said. “My focus is on the opponent in front of me. I can’t think about somebody else while I have someone tough in front of me. My focus is on him. I’m 100 percent focused on this fight, and everything else is consequence.
“My biggest dream is the belt,” he added, “but I’ve been through this experience before, and I know that if I think about the belt before fighting my next opponent, that might not get me motivated. I’m more experienced now, and I know I have to think about my next opponent. This is what motivates me.”
Fair enough. Many a fighter has found out the hard way that looking past your next opponent can be a very dangerous thing to do. Can Rua make another title run at this stage of the game? In a division that includes dudes like Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, Daniel Cormier etc?
This aside, it will be interesting to see what unfolds in the Rua – Villante bout. Both men are aggressive fighters and are dangerous on the feet.