5626505435 0be3907463 bUFC President Dana White is rarely shy about telling people how he really feels.

One of his most decorated fighters, former Pride Middleweight Grand Prix and UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, is in a precarious spot right now, having lost three out of his last four bouts. He is set to face off with Australian slugger James Te Huna in the co-main event of tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Night 33 from Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

Te Huna isn’t the biggest name opponent but he’s highly dangerous nonetheless. A loss to Te Huna would be absolutely devastating to Rua’s career. White knows this. He appeared on “Fox Sports Live” last night to give his take on “Shogun’s” career path:

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“This is a huge fight for both of these guys,” White said. “Obviously for ‘Shogun’ Rua, to be in this position right now fighting a guy like Te Huna – this is the fight of Te Huna’s life. If Te Huna wins this fight, it catapults him into the Top 10, everybody knows his name and everybody’s going to want to see what’s next for him. And yes, if ‘Shogun’ loses this fight, I probably would have that (retirement) conversation with him.”

There’s no doubt that “Shogun” has been through a ton of wars despite being relatively young at 31 years old. Multiple knee surgeries have taken their toll upon his body and losing four out of five is usually a death sentence for any UFC combatant. But Rua has recently teased a move down to 185 pounds, something which White was asked if he had considered as of yet:

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“I have not, but it’s not a bad idea. If he lost this fight, I’d be interested in giving him a run at 185.”

That definitely might not be a bad idea, as Rua’s old rival Lyoto Machida recently made the cut down to middleweight to rousing success, knocking Mark Munoz out with a first round headkick at UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester. Similar to Machida, “Shogun” would likely have a sizeable power advantage if he chose to cut down.

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All details aside, it’s clear that Rua is nearing the end of his very storied career. No one can ever question his heart, determination, and overall toughness. He’ll go down as one of the legends of Pride FC. His UFC tenure, however, has been marred stretches of inconsistency. Can he get back on track against Te Huna this Friday night?

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