Earlier in the week current light-heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua revealed that he hoped to be back in the octagon defending his belt by December or January after successful knee surgery.
It seems that UFC president Dana White has other plans though.
During an interview on ESPN’S MMA live show yesterday Shogun’s next opponent Rashad Evans, who is one of the programs analysts, asked White what he thought of Shogun’s desire to make a quick comeback.
“Let me tell you what, people keep asking me why he’s had so many knee surgeries – that’s exactly why he’s had that many knee surgeries,” White replied. “First of all we sent him to the best doctor in the United States to get his knee fixed, and this kid keeps pushing it and wants to get out there faster and faster.
“I completely respect him for that – he’s an animal I love it, but there’s no way he’s going to be ready by December. He’s looking at spring or early summer.”
Evans followed up by asking if White would be arranging an interim title in the mean time.
“I doubt it,” was his response which seemed to please Evans who struggled to hide a smile. The former champion has been less than enthusiastic about the idea of such a fight recently and appears happy to sit out and wait for his chance to fight Shogun.
Evans is probably the only one smiling at the news though, it’s definitely disappointing to have it confirmed that the 205lb title is going to be on ice for such a long period of time.
Having said that it is admirable that White is not looking to just throw his champion back into action at the earliest opportunity and will give him ample time to heal and get back to full fighting fitness. Hopefully that will prove to be a shrewd investment in Shogun’s future which will pay dividends with a longer career at the highest level.