With the ongoing saga of UFC-signed talent declaring they’ll never fight each other due to friendship, newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has provided a fresh breath of air on the controversial subject. And in doing so, may have opened the door for a megabout with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, an old friend and former teammate at the legendary Chute Boxe academy in Curitiba, Brazil.
Appearing on ESPN2’s MMA Live just moments after his title-clinching stoppage of Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 in Montreal, “Shogun” was blunt when asked by host Jon Anik if he would fight the fellow Brazilian.
“Yes, of course. I’m a professional fighter,” said Rua (19-4).
The 28-year-old’s title predecessor, Machida, had publicly declared that he would never fight Silva, a close personal friend. Machida and Silva’s friendship complicated matters for the middleweight champion, who to this point has no equal at 185 pounds and has tested the light heavyweight waters on a part-time basis against James Irvin and Forrest Griffin with rousing success.
A permanent move to 205 pounds has long been discussed for Silva (26-4). He has won all 11 of his bouts inside the Octagon, a winning streak record for the Las Vegas-based promotion. A jump to the heavier class may have to wait, however, as UFC President Dana White has previously stated that 35-year-old fighter is two wins away from cleaning out the division: Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort.