Former PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix champion and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua recently participated in a Kevin Iole hosted live chat at Yahoo! Sports, and said his sights are set squarely on Jon Jones.
Jones took the title from Shogun 18 months ago at UFC 128, and since then kayoed Forrest Griffin at UFC 134, and narrowly lost to Dan Henderson at UFC 139 in what may be the best MMA fight of all time.
He fights Brandon Vera this Saturday at UFC on FOX 4. A definitive win there could earn him a title shot, and this time he says there is more time and tape to study.
Kevin Iole: I am going to ask a question for Shogun. How long did it take for you to recover from your injuries in the Dan Henderson fight.
Shogun Rua: That was a very tough fight but after a week or two of resting I was okay. Some people said I have some broken bones but I didn't, that wasn't true. It was a brutal fight and it took more time to recover mentally than any injury.
KI: What skills do you have that Brandon Vera doesnt have?
SR: It is difficult to look at opponents now and look at one skill over another because everyone is well rounded. I think, skill wise, maybe I have better BJJ than Vera.
KI: How do you think a rematch with Jon Jones would play out?
SR: That's the fight I want. I want my title back. I think he is much easier to study Jon Jones now... last time the guy was a brand new style in the UFC. Now we've seen him fight other guys and have more information what he's going to do in the Octagon. I am working towards beating him in a rematch.
KI: Who's hit you the hardest in your career?
SR: Jon Jones for aggression and Dan Henderson has the heavier hands.
KI: Why did Dana say you would rather be cut than fight Glover? Where did the disconnect between your camp and the UFC come from to mix the story up that badly?
SR: I don't know where the information came from. Right now, Glover isn't well known or ranked and has a long road ahead of him. With all respect, a win over him wouldn't have got me closer to the belt and getting the belt back is my only focus.
KI: Dana said if you look impressive, you get the next title shot. What is your response to that?
SR: I was very excited to hear that from Dana. From what I understand I have to be impressive and that is very motivating for me to put on a huge victory and beat Brandon Vera.
KI: Do you expect a muay thai battle with Vera or do you think he'll try to take you down?
SR: It will be a great Maut Thai war!
KI: What keeps you motivated after tough losses to Jones and Henderson??
SR: I think the fight with Henderson should have been a draw but, that's okay. It was close. But I really want a rematch with Jones because I can do so much better than i did the first fight.
KI: what is your opinion on Alistair Overeem and his evolution since you fought him 5 years ago?
(Ed note: Shogun knocked Overeem out, twice, both in the first round)
SR: He always has good kickboxing and wrestling. The biggest difference is the size of his body...
KI: At this point in your career, what are you most afraid of?
SR: No. I'm not afraid of anything or anyone.
KI: How much longer do you see yourself continuing to fight?
SR: Another six, seven years I think.
Read entire interview...