Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua has his next outing set.
After stopping Brandon Vera in the fifth round of their UFC on FOX 4 contest, a fight which won widespread acclaim, he has been added to the UFC on FOX 5 card taking place in December 5.
His opponent is Swedish mauler Alexander Gustaffson, who has won six of his seven UFC fights and has been tipped as contender material ever since his comprehensive dismantling of Thiago Silva in Sweden several months ago.
The UFC has not made any official declaration to the effect of it being a contender elimination match but with Shogun being a former champion it seems certain that Gustaffson would earn a title shot if he takes a good win over him.
Shogun’s position is less clear. There was ostensibly a title shot in the offing for him when he fought Vera but the offer was also extended to the winner of the Lyoto Machida/Ryan Bader fight, which turned out to be Machida.
Not only was Machida deemed to have won “more impressively” but UFC president Dana White dropped hints to the effect that Shogun’s recent refusal to fight Glover Teixeira had weighed against him. He could be in the bad books with White although that is generally a transitory thing and an impressive win in December would probably have White re-adding him as a friend.
Interestingly, the match was predicted a week ago by the Fighters Only magazine editor in the Monday Mailbag. So if you want some lottery numbers you know who to ask.