‘Shogun’ Rua likely to stay at light heavyweight
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua picked up an absolutely necessary win on Friday night when he left opponent James Te Huna laying on a slab after a jaw-crunching knockout in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot.
Heading into the evening, Rua was on a two-fight losing streak and the talk about his potential retirement was hard to ignore. The one person who never listened to that chatter was Rua, because he went out to do his job and when the work was done he was standing proud as the victor.
Now with a win under his belt, Rua has staved off any retirement talk for now, but it still begs the question what comes next for the former UFC light heavyweight champion? The victory was great, but Rua still sits with a 3-4 record over his last seven fights and the last thing he’s ever been in his career is mediocre while facing mid-level talent.
According to the Brazilian legend, what comes next is some time off hopefully after a rough 2013, and then he will sit down with his team and make a decision.
I don’t think I’m changing weight classes right now.
"Right now I would like to take a little break, but if the UFC needs me to fight again, I’ll fight again. I’m coming from three fight camps. I had a training camp for Lil’ Nog and the fight didn’t happen, and then I had the training camp for (Chael) Sonnen and I have been training non-stop for several months," Rua said at the UFC Fight Night post fight press conference.
There was some buzz going around that Rua has been considering a drop down to middleweight to find new life in his career. Despite his accomplishments at 205 pounds, Rua has always been an undersized light heavyweight and dropping to 185 pounds would seem like an advantageous step to lengthen his career.
It appears beating Te Huna gave Rua the confidence he needs to continue pushing forward at light heavyweight, however, but he’s he’s not ready to make that call just yet.
"No I don’t think I’m changing weight classes right now, I think I’ll stay at light heavyweight, but I’m not thinking about the belt or any title right now," Rua said. "I’m thinking about my next fight and winning my next fight, my next dream, my next goal and I’m going to battle for that. After that, we’ll see where it goes.
I wouldn’t rule anything out at this moment.
"Those kinds of decisions are made with my team. It’s up to my team to really decide. I wouldn’t rule anything out at this moment. Rightfully so, we’re going to celebrate and everyone will talk and it’s up to my team to make those decisions."
Rua has definitely earned the right to celebrate after a long, strange trip in 2013 riding a rollercoaster of emotions from wins, losses and retirement talk. After more than his fair share of disappointments this year, Rua was happy to close out on a positive note and go home to Brazil with a victory and a smile on his face.
"Fighters winning is the biggest reason of joy or happiness. We endure a lot of suffering through training camp and give a lot of stuff away. We like to focus on the training and be away from a number of things we like and cutting weight and all the things that we go through," Rua said after the win. "Victory, the win, is the only thing that really makes this all make sense. It makes it all worth it."