Mauricio Rua will wait to make a decision on his weight. | File photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
While there were rumors of Mauricio Rua potentially dropping to middleweight after his UFC Fight Night 33 clash with James Te Huna, “Shogun” looked more than comfortable at 205 pounds.
Rua buried Te Huna in the evening’s co-main event at Brisbane Entertainment Center in Brisbane, Australia, catching the New Zealander with a counter left hook that instantly relieved Te Huna of his consciousness and caused him to drop like a stone.
“I don’t think about changing weight classes right now,” Rua said at the post-fight press conference through a translator. “I’m not thinking about a title right now. I’m thinking about winning my next fight. This is my next goal, and it’s what I’m going to battle for. After that, we’ll see how it goes.
“Those kind of decisions are made with my team, and it’s up to my team to really decide what’s next. I wouldn’t rule anything out, but right now we just want to celebrate the win. Later on, we’ll talk. Whatever we decide, we’ll move on with that.”
The devastating knockout halted a two-fight skid for Rua, who was outpointed by Alexander Gustafsson one year ago and then submitted by Chael Sonnen this past August at UFC Fight Night 26.
“I wasn’t feeling pressure only because of what people were saying, but also because of the pressure that I put on myself as a fighter to try to perform my best and to keep driving hard,” said Rua. “For fighters, winning is the biggest reason for joy we can have, because we endure a lot of suffering through training camp. We give away a lot of stuff that we like in order to focus on the training and cutting weight. The victory is the only thing that makes this all make sense.”
Rua attributed his quick knockout of Te Huna to an isolated training camp that saw him prepare for the bout away from his family and pregnant wife. The Pride veteran also noted that he had been training virtually non-stop for three months, first for a canceled rematch opposite Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, then for Sonnen and then for Te Huna.
Though “Shogun” said he is available to compete should the UFC need him, he nevertheless would like to spend a little time away from the gym in the wake of his victory.
“Right now, I’d like to take a little break, but if the UFC needs me and wants me to, I’ll fight again soon. I’m actually coming off three training camps in a row,” said Rua. “I really don’t have anyone in mind for whom to fight next. Whomever the UFC wants me to fight, I will fight. It doesn’t matter.”