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Shogun still longs for title shot, but is no 'hypocrite' to believe he's close to it

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Mauricio Rua talks about his title aspirations following his TKO win over Gian Villante.

UFC 198 Weigh-ins
Mauricio Rua
Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

After a good showing that ended in a third-round TKO win against Gian Villante, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua finds himself in the first ever three-fight win streak of his UFC career.

With so many years of fighting under his belt, Rua believes the secret is to stay as calm as possible in the Octagon.

"I always try to evolve as an athlete, the cardio and technique, and I ask God a lot before the fight to be patient,” Rua told MMA Fighting at the post-fight press conference. "The calmer I am, the better I fight. Sometimes you’re too nervous you use your strength more than you need."

"I don't get as tired in the gym as I do in the fight,” he said. "The fight is different, so you have to concentrate and imagine it’s training because the anxiety can take control of you. If you think how big the event is, that’s against you. You have to concentrate and be calm and patient."

"We want to win as soon as possible to guarantee the victory and I saw that he felt my hand a few times, but he recovered fast, so I didn’t open myself. The last knockdown, I felt he was hurt and knew if I went forward the referee would stop it because he was worse than before."

Still, as a former PRIDE FC and UFC champion, Mauricio would like to relive those days, even though he knows he still needs to fight some more before he starts claiming another title shot.

"I would be an hypocrite if I said I’ll be next [in line]. For sure, it has to be the winner of Glover [Teixeira] and [Alexander] Gustafsson. They are ahead of me, and the winner deserves to fight for the belt."

Mauricio Rua has defeated Gian Villante, Corey Anderson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his last three outings. His last loss came in November 2014, when he was knocked out by Ovince Saint Preux.