Shogun recovering from his first or second knee surgery. He's currently recovering from his third.
UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is on track for an early 2011 return -- possibly at the promotion's annual Superbowl weekend event in February -- after undergoing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery in his left knee on June 10 in Los Angeles.
Alonso said Rua injured his left knee during his first-round knockout victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 last May in Montreal.
"It was precisely on the second takedown where he tried to take down Machida and Machida stuffed it and ended up on top," said Alonso.
Rua had previously undergone surgery on his torn left ACL in September 2007, following a disastrous promotional debut against former 205-pound champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 76 in Anaheim, Calif. Rua also had a follow-up operation on the same knee in 2008.
This is excellent news. Shogun Rua has long been heralded as the future of the 205lb division. Now that's he's finally taken the title, it's unfortunate that he's dogged by knee injuries.
I'm thrilled that he appears to be recovering quickly, I just hope that he doesn't rush back into the Octagon too soon. There is the possibility that the UFC will issue an interim title belt while Shogun recovers and I hope he doesn't feel pressured to return to action too soon so he can stave that off.
Rashad Evans, fresh off his big UFC 114 win over Rampage Jackson, is at the front of the line and has expressed no interest in a rematch with former champ Lyoto Machida for the interim belt, per MMA Fighting:
"I'm really not in a rush to fight right now - I'm ready, but I just want to fight the best fighters," Evans said. "I know he fought Machida when he was hurt, so I can wait to fight the best Shogun. I'm not like, 'Ahhh - I need to fight! I need to fight!' There's a lot of things I can do with my time when I'm not fighting."
He said the potential time off between fights - which would be around 10 months if Rua is able to fight in March - isn't a concern to him. Evans went nearly 10 months between fights after beating Michael Bisping at UFC 78 before knocking out Chuck Liddell at UFC 88, which got him his title shot against Griffin.
And while Machida's manager, Ed Soares, has said publicly he believes there should be an interim title fight between the two former champs, Evans said - from a preparation standpoint, at least - it's not something he needs to do.
"I've been fighting for seven years now, so I know what it's like and I know what it means to fight and everything like that," the Greg Jackson product said. "I'm a veteran in this sport. I'm not going to forget how to fight. I won't forget what it's like to be in there. I'm not going to forget all the experience that I have before. For me, going in and fighting for the sake of fighting, I'm over that stage in my career. If I do, it just creates another barrier, another roadblock. They say he won't be able to fight until March. This won't even be the longest time I've had off."
Something tells me that Lyoto Machida is going to have a hard time finding opponents to put together a come back run. If Rashad Evans wants no part of a rematch with "the Dragon", who could blame him?