Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
One trump card that the UFC wasn't able to play in its efforts to book a September opponent for Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones was Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, the man who was ostensibly second-in-line for a title shot. He was traveling when the opportunity to face Jones at UFC 151 arose but it turns out he was offered the UFC 152 opportunity as well.
Shogun's manager Julio Heller spoke to Tatame about the decision making process to turn down the fight and we've got his comments after the jump..
"We were in Sao Paulo and my phone rang about midnight. It was Lorenzo's (Lorenzo Fertitta is a partner in the UFC). Lorenzo was on another call, so I talked to him like half hour later. He offered me a rematch against Jon Jones because Lyoto had declined it and asked me to give him an answer in ten minutes. I hung up and Mauricio was there with me. We talked and called Dida in Curitiba and we got to a conclusion we should accept the rematch, but only if Shogun had a couple of months to train and it would mean a fight later in October or in November. I said that to Lorenzo but he said there was no time because Jon Jones's fight is on September 22nd. Unfortunately, he couldn't give us this time but he understood.
"Mauricio accepted at the time the new fight against Jon Jones. The ideal is a three-month camp but he said yes to a two-month camp fight. He wants to fight Jon Jones and it sucks it won't happen now. But Mauricio's shot will come."