Shogun Rua’s first-round knockout victory over Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 was a big win for his career. As Dana White stated following the event, the victory puts Shogun “right back in the title hunt.”

“[That] was a big win for him,” White said. “The guy just lost the title to Jon Jones, who many people believe – I’ve got Jon Jones ranked No. 3 pound-for-pound in the world. (He) beats Forrest Griffin, who’s one of the top light heavyweights in the world. It put ‘Shogun’ right back in the title hunt.”

That’s good news for Shogun because he wants nothing more than to avenge his loss to Jon Jones.

“I’ve only had five losses,” Rua said in his native Portuguese. “I’ve managed to avenge all of them except Jon Jones and [Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral]. ‘Babalu’ is my friend, and he’s on my team, so I wouldn’t think of doing that. The only guy left then is Jon Jones.”

In the meantime though, he’ll gladly take on whoever the UFC puts in front of him. As he told Tatame, Shogun’s not worried about the belt yet.

I’ll tell you something: this fight was the only one in my career that prevent me from sleeping the night before. I got a great win, I’m really glad about it. Mission accomplished, let’s move on… This division has many top fighters, and my goal is to focus on my next fight. I don’t worry about the belt yet. No matter who I’ll have to battle with, I’ll be 100% focused and I’ll only worry about that. When the time comes for me to fight for the belt, I’ll be ready.

It’s hard to say how many wins Shogun needs before he gets another crack at the title. It will come down to timing, who holds the title, how Shogun performs in his coming fights and how his knee holds up. If Rampage Jackson or Rashad Evans takes out Jon Jones and Shogun goes out and blasts a top light heavyweight, don’t be surprised if we see Shogun back in a title fight within the next year. If Jones hangs on to the title like most people expect though, I can’t see Jones vs. Shogun 2 as anything more than a last resort. That fight would be a tough sell.

Image via Esther Lin for MMA Fighting