Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua did what he needed to do against Brandon Vera and that was earn a win.

However, in doing so, Rua was passed over by Lyoto Machida when he came time to determine a new No. 1 contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

Now, if Rua (21-6) wants another chance at wearing that UFC belt, he’ll have to get past rising prospect Alexander Gustafsson (14-1) this December.

Rua and Gustafsson will comprise the co-main event for UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz, which goes down from Seattle on December 8.

In a recent interview with the Brazilian news outlet Tatame, Rua discussed his fight with Vera, which ended with a fourth round TKO victory.

“I respect Brandon Vera a lot, but I know I could’ve done a lot better against him,” Rua said. “I got a little tired, so I’m sitting down with my team to try and find the mistake, work on it and return 100-percent. Vera is a tough guy and he tired me out…I’ll come back better.”

Rua, who is 30 years old, has gone 3-2 in his last five fights. He defeated Lyoto Machida for the title, dropped it in his first defense against Jon Jones, but rebounded to knock Forrest Griffin out last year. He was also defeated by decision to Dan Henderson in a fight that earned high accolades for its thrilling 25-minute war.

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