Rua Wants Title Shot with Win Over Oezdemir
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is looking to claim the title once again, eight years later, and he sees Volkan Oezdemir as the ticket towards the opportunity.
As reported by MMA Fighting, Rua and Oezdemir are scheduled to face off on May 19 when the UFC comes to Chile. Rua has only had one fight per year over the last three years, but he is currently on a three-fight win streak and placed No. 7 in the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings.
Oezdemir, meanwhile, rose into the MMA spotlight last year. Wins over the likes of Ovince Saint-Preux, Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in his first three UFC bouts brought him a light heavyweight title fight back at UFC 220 in January. Oezdemir, however, was finished by champion Daniel Cormier in the second round.
“I think Volkan is a great fighter, the No. 2 in the ranking, but I like challenges,” Rua said. “It’s going to be a big challenge for me, and I think it’s an interesting fight for the fans.
In a short time in the UFC, he was a phenom, easily beating Manuwa and Misha, who are good fighters, and that earned him a shot at the belt. He has evolved a lot since he joined the UFC. I know he’s a really tough guy.
Rua will spend his training camp in Brazil, working with the same team that helped him earn wins over Corey Anderson and Gian Villante. He feels considering his win streak, ranking and history, that a win over a recent title challenger and highly-ranked contender like Oezedmeir will put him into title contention once again.
“This is a tough fight, but I know that, if I win, I will be one step closer to having another chance to fight for the belt,” Rua said. “I face every fight as a dream, and defeating Volkan is my dream now. That might earn me a chance for the belt. My focus is 100 percent on him, and I know that I will be closer to the belt with a win.
Everybody knows my career, knows that I was a champion in PRIDE and in the UFC. I’ve been fighting the world’s best fighters since 2005, so if I win this fight I will deserve to fight for the belt — for my history, being a former champion, and for fighting someone like Oezdemir, the No. 2 in the ranking.
Original Story: MMA Fighting