Former UFC champion Mauricio Rua has slowly been falling down the light-heavyweight ranking’s since he lost his belt to Jon Jones at UFC 128. Prior to his fight with Jones, ‘Shogun was 15-3 in his last eighteen bouts; which included him winning the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix.
Since his fight with Jones, Rua is 2-3 in his last five and was dominated in his last two by Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson. His next fight is against tough Australian James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33, a loss against Te Huna would put ‘Shogun’ on a three fight losing streak. Even with a win its doubtful Rua will ever challenge for the title at 205lbs again.
Recently we have seen many UFC veterans drop down in their weight class to try and reinvigorate their careers. One of Rua’s former opponent’s Lyoto Machida has recently done just that, knocking out Mark Munoz in his middleweight debut at UFC Fight Night 32. Rua hinted at a possible drop down to 185lbs in a recent Q&A that he hosted prior to Fight Night 32, ‘Shogun’ had this to say:
“It might happen, but for now I have a fight scheduled. I would have to do some medical exams to see if it’s possible. My normal weight is 228, 231 pounds. Maybe I can maintain my performance. I would need to think about it, but that’s something that can happen.”
A drop to middleweight could give him the career boost he needs and there are plenty of high profile bouts that could await him. If Rua can safely make the weight it would be wise for him to do so as he could potentially enter the title picture with one fight in the division. What do you think, should ‘Shogun’ drop down to 185? Or is it time for the Brazilian to call it a day and hang up the gloves?