After his 25-minute war with Dan Henderson at UFC 139: "Shogun vs. Henderson" this past weekend (Nov. 19, 2011) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., Mauricio Rua doesn't want to even think about fighting right now.
Who could blame him?
"Shogun" and his opponent, Dan Henderson, delivered an instant classic in an epic back-and-forth 205-pound battle that will forever link the fighters together. After receiving the most visible damage out of the two combatants, the former Pride FC grand prix winner says he just wants to take some much-needed time off to rest his body.
Rua, who was caught early by an "H-Bomb," recovered from the punch only to be rocked again and nearly finished in the third round. After surviving a few additional onslaughts from "Hendo," Rua dominated rounds four and five, nearly finishing the fight in the fourth when he connected with an uppercut that had Hendo rocked.
However, a visibly exhausted Rua didn't have the energy to go in for the finish.
In the fifth and final round, Rua had top position on Henderson through the majority of the round and once again failed to finish the fight as his ground-and-pound was lacking some power. As a result, Shogun's endurance (or lack thereof) has once again been questioned from the fans, media and even his old head trainer, Rafael Cordiero.
However, as Shogun revealed to Tatame.com, he was simply too dizzy and seeing stars because of the excessive blood loss to focus on finishing an equally exhausted Henderson:
"Unfortunately, the outcome wasn't quite the one we expected, but what can I do, right? The important thing is to please the promoters and the fans. I was a little dizzy at the time because I lost so much blood, so I couldn't tell how well I was doing on the fight. For what I've seen later, it was a good fight. Dan Henderson showed he's a really tough guy and deserves to be respected. I was very dizzy, I could see stars. I lost a lot of blood on the fight, I wasn't 100%, but I gave my best. Dan Henderson has alligator skin; he can handle punches without bleeding. I did my best, but unfortunately I couldn't get a positive result."
It's unclear at this time when Rua might return to mixed martial arts (MMA) action. His star was born in the "Land of the Rising Sun" back in the Pride FC glory days, making him a logical addition to the UFC 144 fight card in Japan on Feb. 25, 2012.
All things considered, a turnaround like that might be a little too quick, but Rua has yet to rule out the possibility:
"I guess it's hard for me to fight in Japan, even because I injured my clavicle two months before the fight, so I'm a lot hurt and tired. I'll stay two weeks off and I don't want to think about fighting during that period. But it's not something I discard, I'll think about it carefully."
Rua had been rumored to participate in promotion's upcoming Japan card opposite Quinton Jackson.
The pair have massive followings in Japan, making a rematch in Saitama a sure-fire crowd pleaser. The two first met on April 23, 2005 at PRIDE Total Elimination 2005. Rua dismantled Jackson from the opening bell with precision striking that forced the referee to put a stop to the bout five minutes in.
However, "Rampage" Jackson recently lamented that he will not participate at the event, perhaps indicating that a rematch with Shogun would have to wait for another date.