It looks like the light heavyweight belt will finally once again be on the line early next year. The cause for the layoff, newly crowned champ, Shogun Rua had been put out of training for a much needed knee surgery following his win over Lyoto Machida for the belt back in May 2010 at UFC 113.
The challenger, former light heavyweight champ ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans (15-1) earned a shot at the title with a decision win over Rampage Jackson back in May also at UFC 114. Both men will be dealing with 10 months of ring rust that will need to be shaken off.
After rumors of Evans becoming impatient of the wait for Rua’s healing time, UFC president Dana White fired back telling this to MMAJunkie.com
“When you’re in this business, and you have these guys talking to the media … believe it or not, you guys take things out of context sometimes, and stuff happens,” said White.
“Me and Rashad fight sometimes,” White said. “We get into arguments, and I do with all the guys. Nothing is ever 100 percent. ‘Hey, this is great. We’re all the best.’
“Sometimes you’re going to have different opinions and disagree on things, and we’re going to go out and say things publicly, but we try to patch them up behind the scenes.”
The great news though is Rua is healing well and there is already an official tentative date for the match set on UFC 128 in a return to Abu Dhabi in March.
“He’s had these knee problems before [Rua], and he got his knee done in Brazil and then never did the therapy he was supposed to do,” White told MMAjunkie. “(He) always tried to come back too soon. The guy who did his knee this time is the best. He might even be the best in the world, and Shogun’s done all the right things – done the right rehab, taken time off, didn’t come back training too soon.
“Everything’s on schedule, and he’s looking good.”