Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (16-3) has confirmed that the UFC has officially offered him a fight against former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Although contracts have not been signed, Shogun states that he is more than willing to take the fight against his former PrideFC foe.
“I hope to be ready to go in December,” Shogun stated on an interview with Sherdog.com. “No deal has been closed yet. We have talked about it, for me, I am ready to take that offer. I’m ready to go, but no deal has been closed yet.”
It has been almost a year since Shogun lost his UFC debut against Forrest Griffin. Recovering from two knee surgeries since the loss has been a slow and frustrating process.
“It has been hard watching everybody fight, and me not being in there,” expressed Shogun. “I’m really focused on the training, just getting back into training. Training at a harder level.”
Shogun already holds a dominating 1st Round TKO win over Rampage from their days in PrideFC. However, a lot has changed for both fighters since their matchup three years ago. Rampage has improved his striking quite a bit, which helped him to capture the UFC title. Shogun was the top ranked 205-pounder in the world in 2005, but hasn’t won a fight in over a year and a half.
Regardless, Shogun will draw upon his strategy from that win and apply it to their future matchup. In fact, he doesn’t plan on changing much of anything.
“Game plan will be the same,” stated a confident Shogun. “Train a lot of Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. Go for the knockout or submissions, whatever it takes to finish the fight.”
If the two do in fact square off again, it has been widely rumored that they will be added to the UFC 91 card in November. However, Shogun has been adamant about coming back on the New Year’s Eve card on December 27th. Shogun also added that if the Rampage fight doesn’t happen, there is another guy out there that he would like to fight. In fact, he would prefer it.
“I have never picked an opponent, so I won’t do it now,” said Shogun. “But if I could choose, I would pick (Mark) Coleman. I feel that there is something personal between the two of us that I have to take care of.”
Shogun lost to Coleman when they fought over two years ago in PrideFC. In a freakish accident, Shogun planted his arm on the canvas and it snapped, causing the referee to step in and stop the fight immediately. A melee ensued in the ring between the two camps and there has been a bitter war of words between the two since.
Whoever it is that Shogun will face in his return isn’t the important thing. It will just be a treat to see the talented fighter back healthy and fighting. At only 27 years of age, he still has many more years of fighting left in him, and MMA fans have waited long enough.