Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion and 2005 Pride FC Middleweight Grand Prix winner, Mauricio Rua, still wants more hardware for his mixed martial arts (MMA) trophy case.
Even if the 31-year-old legendary Brazilian fighter's best days are seemingly a distant memory.
On the heels of his shocking submission loss to Chael Sonnen this past weekend (Sat., Aug. 17, 2013) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26, which took place at TD Bank Garden in Boston, Mass. (watch highlights here), "Shogun" released a statement (via MMAFighting.com) in which he declared his desire to become a 205-pound world champion again and to never repeat the same mistake.
"I have 11 years in MMA and Vale Tudo, I won everything I always wanted. I achieved everything I dreamed, but I want to do that again. I still want many victories; I still want to become the world champion again. Who decides when I will stop [fighting] or not is myself, no one else. Thank God I'm financially stable, and I keep fighting because I love it.... I'm a really competitive guy, who hates to be defeated. I know I did everything I should have done during my preparation, but Sonnen was better on the fight. Unfortunately, in the fight [business], we have to wait a lot to return and bounce back.... I'll get back home, see what went wrong on the fight and train hard to make sure that mistake won’t happen again."
What went wrong is Sonnen had his "lock" on Shogun and he wasn't about to break it so early and so dry. And if you ask his brother, who wasn't in his corner on fight night, "Ninja" Murilo Rua thinks some "shady" individuals in his camp could have had negative impacts.
That's apparently a statement that didn't sit too well with Rua's manager, Leonardo Salomao, who seemingly went out of his way to stroke the team that helped him prepare for the first-ever main event on FOX Sports 1 network.
"Mauricio invested a lot in this camp, trained with the best, went to the United States to learn new techniques, so we decided to maintain the same team. He trained with Freddie Roach in the U.S., took Jacob Harman to Curitiba, had the support of Glaube Feitosa, Roberto Gordo and Renato Babalu on his corner. He was really well prepared, but Sonnen was better. Mauricio is a winner and I'm sure he will be back."
It's unclear when "Shogun" plans to return to the Octagon, but by the sound of it, he seems eager to do it sooner rather than later.
However, riding the first back-to-back losing streak of his professional career, and winning just five of 11 UFC bouts since 2007, perhaps he might want to take some time to re-assess his situation.
That's because even though retirement is seemingly out of the question for now, Rua desperately needs to establish some degree of consistency before he can realistically think that he is remotely close to securing No. 1 contender status anytime soon.