After his knockout victory over James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 Friday, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua said he is putting his plan to change weight classes on hold for the time being.
At a fan Q&A in Brazil last month, Rua said he would consider dropping to middleweight. The 32-year-old has a walking around weight of about 228 pounds, and drops about 23 pounds to fight in the light heavyweight division. To fight as a middleweight, he would have to drop another 20 pounds to 185, a weight he hasn’t fought at since 2006.
“Maybe I can (drop to 185) and maintain my performance,” Rua said. “I would need to think about it, but that’s something that can happen.”
But after his match with Te Huna, the former UFC light heavyweight champion seemed unsure of dropping down to the middleweight division. Rua made quick work of the 32-year-old New Zealander, knocking him out with a left hook at 1:03 in the first round.
“I don’t think about changing weight classes right now,” Rua said at the post-fight press conference. “I’m not thinking about a title right now. I’m thinking about winning my next fight. This is my next goal, and it’s what I’m going to battle for. After that, we’ll see how it goes.”
Rua added, “Those kind of decisions are made with my team, and it’s up to my team to really decide what’s next. I wouldn’t rule anything out, but right now we just want to celebrate the win. Later on, we’ll talk. Whatever we decide, we’ll move on with that.”
Although Mauricio Rua said he is ready to fight whenever the promotion needs him, he admitted that he is looking forward to resting for a bit. He had three training camps in a row and spent several months away from his family — including his pregnant wife. First, there was a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Noguiera scheduled for UFC 161 that was scrapped due to Little Nog’s back injury. Then there was his headliner against Chael Sonnen at UFC Fight Night 26 in August, and the co-main event with James Te Huna.
“Right now, I’d like to take a little break, but if the UFC needs me and wants me to, I’ll fight again soon. I’m actually coming off three training camps in a row,” said Rua. “I really don’t have anyone in mind for whom to fight next. Whomever the UFC wants me to fight, I will fight. It doesn’t matter.”