Fan-favorite light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has watched two potential match-ups appear and vanish in the past month with Quinton Jackson succumbing to knee surgery and Dan Henderson turning a rematch down in hopes of landing a title-fight. While his next opponent remains up in the air, one thing is certain – Rua is hoping the clash comes on June 23 when the organization returns to Rio de Janeiro for UFC 147.
Not only would the card give Rua another opportunity to entertain his countrymen but it also happens to be poised to break attendance records thanks to a venue seating more than 60,000 people.
“I dream about being part of this card, even because it’s a huge event. I would really like to be a part of it,” revealed Rua on the topic in a conversation with TATAME. “It would be very exciting. The first time I was touched by it. At Engenhao you can put like three times more people… It’s overwhelming as a fighter. I work for the UFC, so I’m just waiting. Whatever UFC decides it’s decided.”
“Shogun” was part of UFC 134 this past August when the UFC made it’s first stop in Brazil after an extended absence from the MMA hotbed, picking up a knockout win over Forrest Griffin and avenging a 2007 loss in the process as well.
Rua also appears open to facing any adversary the matchmaking team puts him in front of, making the possibility of him fighting at UFC 147 even greater, saying, “I don’t think about who I can fight against, I wait for UFC to offer me someone. I’d rather wait. It’s hard to pick an opponent out like that. I’d rather not choose…I’d rather not think about fighting one guy or another. Sometime they have to replace your opponent and that’s frustrating for us as athletes, so I fight anyone.”
With Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II headlining the card, not to mention Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort II also booked, signs seem to be looking good for at least one more Brazilian icon with championship roots to take to the cage this summer in front of a historic backdrop.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC