Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, coming off a first round knockout of former light heavyweight kingpin Chuck Liddell, has an opponent in mind for his next fight.
In an interview he did with the Brazilian website Tatame, Rua said that although no opponents have been offered he would like to fight Forrest Griffin again.
It has been about 18 months since Rua made his much ballyhooed debut against the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season one at UFC 76. Griffin was a decided underdog but wore down the then #1 ranked light heavyweight in the world and frustrated him for almost the full 15 minutes until choking Rua out with 15 seconds left in the fight.
Griffin went on to star opposite Quinton “Rampage” Jackson during the seventh installment of The Ultimate Fighter and the two then met at UFC 86 in July of last year for Jackson’s UFC light heavyweight championship where Griffin was victorious via unanimous decision.
Rua meanwhile had two knee surgeries and was not seen again until January of this year where he looked flat once again in defeating a 44 year old Mark Coleman via third round TKO at UFC 93. It was his second straight lackluster performance and the start of his UFC career was not looking good.
Fast forward to this past Saturday night, while he was victorious, none of the questions regarding his cardio were answered and he defeated a man who was 1-3 in his past four fights and approaching 40 years old.
Rua stated that he was very motivated right from the very start as he trained for Liddell and that he had prepared very hard physically and mentally for this fight. He also said that he was anxious to introduce himself to the American fans and show them the real “Shogun” Rua.
As he prepares for a two week vacation with his wife Rua is already focusing on his next fight no matter who it is against, although if he has his way it will be against Griffin.
Forrest does have to get by Thiago Silva at UFC 101 in August for this match-up even to be realistic. Rua complimented Griffin and called him a good fighter and said it would be cool to fight him again.