“Shogun” Rua has won three straight, and has returned to the top five of the light-heavyweight division, but the former champ’s not about to start calling for a title shot.
Rua faced Gian Villante last Saturday at UFC Fight Night 106, and proceeded to finish the latter in round three with punches. The victory followed Rua’s split decision win over Corey Anderson last year, and a UD victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in 2015.
Following the key win, Rua was asked about his future, and here is some of what the Brazilian star had to say (quote via MMA Fighting):
“It was my 35th fight. I face every fight as a dream,” Rua said. “The UFC is the World Cup of MMA and the best fighters are in the UFC, so every fight is a war. Every fight is a dream come true for me. Every fight gets me closer to the belt. My biggest dream is the belt. I’ve accomplished my mission now, so it’s time to come back home and rest.
“I would be an hypocrite if I said I’ll be next [in line]. For sure, it has to be the winner of Glover [Teixeira] and [Alexander] Gustafsson. They are ahead of me, and the winner deserves to fight for the belt.”
Hard to argue with that, as prior to this latest run, Rua had dropped four of five bouts. In addition, while Villante, Anderson and Nogueira were all top 15 ranked fighters when the bouts went down, they weren’t sitting atop of the division.
It will be interesting to see, however, what comes next for the 35 year-old Rua. Perhaps he could face the winner of this Saturday’s fight between Anderson and Jimi Manuwa? Particularly if it’s the latter? Since they haven’t fought before?