Now that former UFC champion Mauricio Rua has had an opportunity to heal up from his incredible war of attrition with Dan Henderson in November the fan-favorite Brazilian is ready to return to the ring. Though it appeared “Shogun” even had an opponent lined up with Quinton Jackson, “Rampage” is no longer an option based on knee surgery, leaving Rua without an adversary on the horizon.
The 30-year old Brazilian recently spoke some about his future, saying he wants to fight this summer and has his fingers crossed he’ll have a chance to do so in front of a sea of screaming countrymen at UFC 147.
“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,” said Rua in an interview 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.”
Rua fought Forrest Griffin last August at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena. Engenhao, where UFC 147 is set to take place on June 23, seats more than 60,000 people.
Rua also responded to Jackson’s withdrawal from a tentatively scheduled tilt, as well as Henderson supposedly turning down a rematch taking place at UFC 149 in Calgary.
“It’s something I know ‘Rampage’ really wanted and so did I, but you gotta be like super prepared to fight,” explained Rua of Jackson, before turning to Henderson, stating, “It’s something I really wanted. It was a fight that pleased the fans and the press. I really wanted it but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I’m sure I’ll eventually get a chance to beat Dan Henderson.”
The former PRIDE stand-out concluded the conversation by saying he was open to facing anyone the matchmaking team put him against, avoiding emotional investment in a fight that may never materialize. Possibilities based on availability could include Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Lyoto Machida, or even the winner of an upcoming April bout between Alexander Gustafsson-Thiago Silva.
UFC 147 is set to feature a pair of much-anticipated rematches in Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC