UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua is still sidelined from his passion of fighting due to surgery on his left knee, but "Shogun" took some time to speak with Gazeta do Povo at UDL (Universidade da Luta) about his family, Anderson Silva, and his 2011 return.
“If everything walks well my doctor said that I could start fighting in December. But to get a more comfortable return I prefer to fight in January or February. I wish to give time to time. The UFC is a big partner, they don’t hurry me up, they let me feel comfortable to decide."
Interviewer: Even more now being the champion…
“(Laughs) Actually I got a special care for UFC, Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White. They welcomed me with all the possible comfort in Las Vegas after the surgery. I stayed five days there in rehabilitation. They let me at ease to come back when I wanted. There won’t be interim belt contention”.
Mauricio added that he doesn’t dwell on his next opponent but recognizes there is a tough guy coming and made it clear of his desire to face Randy Couture, who is a MMA legend in his opinion, and a rematch with Forrest Griffin, which he still considers a top fighter.
On a dream fight versus Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, Rua – who trained with "The Spider "in the beginning of his career at Chute Boxe – responded:
“Like I already told, Anderson and I were friends a long time ago. I’d fight him for sure but I don’t have this wish. I would fight him for professionalism. I am UFC employee and if this is a fight that they want, then I also want it”.
"Shogun" is the father of a seven-month-old girl Maria Eduarda and since her birth the talented mixed martial artist understands the frequent worries of his parents.
“Maria Eduarda is seven months now and she is another motivation for me. I got one more mouth to feed (laughs). Now I understand why my father and mother were boring in worries with me and they were right. I am 28 and still today my mother feels worried. I’m sure my daughter will worry me while I live. When she starts to date and take the boyfriend at my house I will say: ‘watch my fights and then we talk (laughs)."
The current top-ranked 205-pound athlete believes wrestling is the main martial art to be improved in his game and states he wants to continue fighting for at least another seven years.
“I have to improve so much yet. Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, chiefly in wrestling. If I guess I’m good I stop to develop my skills. I feel accomplished but I own many dreams to achieve. Certainly I have wood to burn. I think to fight for another seven years at the minimum.”
First stop: Former Light Heavyweight Champion "Suga" Rashad Evans in spring 2011. Who ya' got?