Mauricio “Shogun” Rua won his third straight UFC bout at UFC Fight Night 106, defeating Gian Villante by third round TKO.
Now riding the aforementioned winning streak, the Brazilian slugger wants another shot to get the UFC Light Heavyweight Title back. Though he admits that the winner of an upcoming clash between Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira should get the next shot.
"It was my 35th fight. I face every fight as a dream,” Rua said at the UFC Fight Night 106 post-fight press conference. "The UFC is the World Cup of MMA and the best fighters are in the UFC, so every fight is a war. Every fight is a dream come true for me. Every fight gets me closer to the belt. My biggest dream is the belt. I’ve accomplished my mission now, so it’s time to come back home and rest. 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."
Rua first won the UFC Light Heavyweight Title by defeating Lyoto Machida at UFC 113, but has been out of the title picture since losing it to Jon Jones in 2012. Even though he has been in MMA for well over a decade, anxiety is still an issue for Rua.
"I don't get too 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 a 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 because he was worse than before."
The three fight winning streak that Rua’s on is the longest of his UFC tenure.