Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is 0-2 against Jon Jones and Dan Henderson.
Rua lost to Jones last year in a bout for the UFC 205-pound title, while also dropping a close decision to Henderson late in the year.
However, if Rua can display the same abilities that won him fights over the likes of Lyoto Machida, Alistair Overeem and Forrest Griffin, he’ll likely be paired up against one of those two fighters.
Rua meets Brandon Vera this Saturday night in the main event of UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera. The card takes place from Los Angeles, and UFC president Dana White has confirmed that the next challenger for the belt will be named after the show.
“I want the winner of Jones vs. Henderson. The fight I had with Henderson was a great fight, the fight of the year, and it was a very close fight. I am okay with that, it was a great fight,” Rua said. “But the loss to Jones, I can’t live with. I could have done so much better and I want to fight him again.”
Rua will have to work past Vera and do so in impressive fashion. After knockout victories against Griffin, Machida, Chuck Liddell, Overeem and Mark Coleman in recent years, the ability to finish fights is there for the Brazilian.
“I think this fight (with Vera) will take place standing up and will be a great war for the fans. I know winning isn’t enough; I have to look very impressive and I am planning a fast knockout like I did against Forrest Griffin,” Rua said. “I am not underestimating Vera, he has skills and has a lot to prove, but I have skills and want my title back.”
Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting