On Saturday night Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua discovered who the first challenger for his light-heavyweight title would be – Rashad Evans.
Speaking to the Tatame website, Rua’s manager and translator Eduardo Alonso also had several other fighters in mind for his fighter in the future if the opportunity arose.
“we may fight against Lyoto in the future, a rematch against Forrest Griffin, a fight against Anderson in the future, if it’s UFC’s wishes… I would really like that Maurício had a chance to fight against the legendary Randy Couture before he retires… There are great fights that may become good challenges and an important financial reward.”
It’s a pretty solid list. After defeating Machida once, and arguably winning their first encounter as well, putting forward the suggestion of a third match clearly shows that they do not fear the prospect of facing him again.
Griffin is a natural choice since he is the only fighter to definitely beat Shogun inside the distance in the UFC and the Brazilian will be eager to seek revenge. Anderson Silva’s inclusion is more surprising, and if the two fighters can continue successfully defending their respective belts then that could be a huge fight later down the line.
I must admit I’m not overly keen to see Rua Vs Couture though. After Shogun’s title win both Alonso and the fighter himself appeared to be pushing for that fight, but the hall of famer is on the downside of his career and I think there’s tougher challengers that Shogun should be facing now that he’s champion.
One fighter who’s name didn’t crop up was Rampage Jackson. Shogun already has a win over him and Rampage recently said that he was keen to avenge that defeat. Of course his loss to Evans on Saturday night put any chances of that becoming a reality on hold, but circumstances can change quickly in the UFC, and if he can get back to winning ways I would not be surprised if that fight does become a reality.