Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua, also known by his nickname Shogun Rua, believes he’s close to a title fight.
Rua was expected to fight former title contender Volkan Oezdemir at the upcoming UFC Hamburg event but that fight got scrapped once it was revealed that Oezdemir was removed from his headliner role against Rua and will instead challenge Alexander Gustafsson.
This left the former UFC light heavyweight champ without a dance partner but the UFC got him a fight against Anthony Smith. This leads us to Rua thinking he is close to a title shot if he is able to beat Smith especially since UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier recently stated that he would be interested in a fight with Rua.
”I think Cormier is a great athlete, a complete fighter,” Rua told MMA Fighting. “Winning this fight I absolutely deserve this chance because of my history and my career in MMA.”
”It’s tough because he’s well-rounded, is good standing and on the ground, has one of the best wrestling in the UFC,” Rua said. “It’s tough because you have to train everything for him. It’s a big challenge, but you become a target when you have the belt because that’s what everyone dreams with.
“But I’m actually not thinking about the belt now because I have a good opponent ahead of me and I can’t think about it. The belt is my dream, of course, but I have to go step by step. I know that I will be closer if I win this fight.”
UFC Hamburg is set to take place on July 22, 2018, at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. The main card will air on FOX Sports 1 while the preliminary card will be split broadcasted on FOX Sports 1 and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.
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