No. 9-ranked UFC light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has been out of action since his third round knockout loss to Dan Henderson in the main event of late March’s UFC Fight Night 38 from Goiania, Brazil.
A thunderous right hook broke “Shogun’s” nose, forcing him to have surgery and spend some time on the sidelines. He’s apparently healing up and preparing for a return to the Octagon, as Ariel Helwani spoke up on this evening’s episode of UFC Tonight to detail a potential opponent for Rua:
“Jimi Manuwa, of course he’s coming off a loss to Alexander Gustafsson. And many, many moons ago, I said that he wants to fight Shogun Rua. Well I am hearing the UFC is considering booking Shogun Rua vs. Jimi Manuwa, November 8, in Brazil. It’s not a hundred percent just yet, it’s not finalized, but I’m also hearing that both sides are interested in this fight. We’ll see if it gets done; of course Shogun coming off that tough loss to Dan Henderson as well.”
Rua was largely destroying Henderson before he got knocked out in March, having the aging “Hendo” nearly finished on more than one occasion. Nearing the end of an illustrious career that saw him both a Pride and UFC champion, Shogun has lost three of his last four and six out of his last ten.
Rua is only 32 years old, but the toll of many wars and surgeries have ravaged his body.
Still, he’s an excellent gatekeeper for up-and—coming light heavyweights and would provide an excellent rebound test for the “Poster Boy,” who was 14-0 with 14 finishes before running into “The Mauler at UFC Fight Night 37 in London this past March.
With Rua and Manuwa possessing some of the most jaw-dropping striking in the 205-pound landscape, who would be your pick to win this heavy-hitting bout?