Don’t expect to be seeing the new light-heavyweight champion any time soon, the latest word from Dana White is that Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua will be out until March of next year.
Rua has been plagued by knee injuries for years and after his title win over Lyoto Machida in May he underwent major knee reconstruction surgery.
The length of time he’s expected to be out for provides a fresh headache for the UFC with Rashad Evans, who earned the No.1 contender spot by defeating Rampage Jackson at UFC 114, now also essentially in limbo for the next eight or nine months.
With that in mind it may be that the UFC looks to put together an interim title fight in the mean time. Potential opponents for Evans if such a bout was to be put in place would more than likely include Forrest Griffin, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Rich Franklin.
Under different circumstances Lyoto Machida may also have been considered, but it’s doubtful they’ll wish to put themselves in a situation where they could be setting up a potential third clash between Machida and Shogun just yet.
There’s no official word on whether an interim title will take place though, so we’ll have to wait and see how the UFC chooses to deal with this unfortunate situation.