Although Dana White pegged late spring or early summer for UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's return to action, Jamie Penick at the MMA Torch has learned Shogun may be back in time to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday. Rua's striking coach Sergio Cunha was on the MMATorch Livecast last night and revealed that his famous student was looking to fight much sooner than this summer:
Cunha, who trained formerly with the famed Chute Boxe academy as well as Brazilian Top Team, told MMATorch as much on the MMATorch Livecast on Tuesday night, and said Shogun's recovery is currently going very well.
"[Shogun is working] with a soccer team, very famous in Brazil called Sao Paulo soccer team, he's making his recovery with that team," said Cunha. "He's going to come back probably on the [Super Bowl [show], that's almost 100% going to happen. His next camp [will come] in November in Minnesota with me, we are working [that out]."
But that's not all. With the recent talk of Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen being set up for their immediate rematch, and the Super Bowl show already being one of those rumored dates for that fight, Cunha said that's probably where Silva ends up as well.
"That's true [Shogun is] going to come back next year," Cunha said. "He's recovering very well and we're going to have a chance to see him and probably Anderson Silva [on that same card].
"[The Super Bowl weekend show] is probably what's going to happen with both guys."
On its face, Rua's early return is good news for the promotion. But I hope someone cautions him against pushing too hard and too fast. After multiple knee surgeries in his short career, Rua needs to be sure his body is ready for the MMA grind. While his mind may be racing and his spirit ready to go to battle, his knee needs all the time he can give it to make a complete recovery. His future is already precarious-and the UFC must do everything in their power to make sure he's healthy for years to come.