We last saw Mauricio Rua giving James Te Huna a violent and impromptu nap in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 33 in Australia. It was a much needed win for Shogun, who lost his last two fights to Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson. There was some talk of Shogun dropping to middleweight which has been the “in” thing to do for 205ers, but in an interview with MMA Fighting he confirmed his stay at light heavyweight:
“I’ll stay at 205,” “Shogun” told MMAFighting.com. “There’s no way (I can drop to 185). I spoke with my team after the fight and they said I shouldn’t (move down), so I won’t. I’ll stay at 205.”
“The light-heavyweight division is the toughest division,” he continued. “I won two world titles in this division, so I’m adapted to it. My dream is to win the title again, but I’m only thinking about my next fight. I’m not thinking about the title now.”
It would take an extraordinary set of circumstances for Shogun to win the title again, but for now he remains ranked in the top 10 and awaiting his next opponent, which could be Antonio Rogerio Nogueira:
“Sure, (my next fight) could be ‘Minotouro.’ He’s done great recently so this fight could happen (next).”
Shogun (22-8) beat Nogueira in PRIDE back in 2005 in a classic, and the UFC did try to book that rematch earlier this year as part of UFC 161, but Nogueira pulled out with a back injury. Nogueira’s injury not only put Shogun off the card, but he was submitted two months later by Sonnen.
Lil’ Nog has fought only 6 times in the last 4 years and recurring ailments have forced him out of too many UFC bouts to count. Shogun vs. Big Nog would be a more reliable fight at this point, but if Lil’ Nog can get healthy then I’m all for seeing them fight again.
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