Oh, boy. It’s the most uncomfortable talk a promoter can have with their fighter – well, that and the ‘Your’re fired’ chat, that is.
According to UFC president Dana White, he might have to discuss retirement with former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (pictured) if the 32-year-old loses this weekend to James Te Huna.
“This is a huge fight for both of these guys,” White said on Wednesday’s edition of “Fox Sports 1 Live.” “Obviously, for Shogun Rua, to be in this position right now fighting a guy like Te Huna – this is the fight of Te Huna’s life. If Te Huna wins this fight, it catapults him into the top 10, everybody knows his name and everybody’s going to want to see what’s next for him.
“And yes, if Shogun loses this fight, I probably would have that [retirement] conversation with him.”
Shogun has dropped four of his past six scraps, including two straight. The first loss in his current skid cost him his 205-pound crown to reigning champ Jon Jones.
Most fighters understand that running the reverse trifecta gets you canned in the UFC. However, legends tend to get a little more leeway. In addition, a change in weight classes could also grant you a reprieve.
Speaking of MMA icons possibly swapping divisions…
“I have not [talked to Shogun about moving to middleweight], but it’s not a bad idea,” White added. “If he lost this fight, I’d be interested in giving him a run at .”
Shogun and Te Huna co-headline UFC Fight Night 33 Saturday (Friday in America) inside Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Australia.
Please click the media player below to watch White’s interview: