Mauricio Rua (Pictures) won't stop. As the Brazilian sits on the sidelines eagerly awaiting a return to the ring -- or a debut in the cage -- the young light heavyweight keeps training hard. During a break from training "Shogun," the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix champion, spoke to Sherdog.com.
When we will see you in action again?
I wish I could fight at UFC 72, but it didn't happen. I'm training a lot and I hope to get back soon. I'm waiting, but nothing is for sure yet. I'm ready to rumble.
How is the training in the Chute Boxe gym?
The training is great. I think I never trained as hard as I'm doing now. I'm ready to fight anytime.
There are rumors saying you will fight Renato Sobral (Pictures), who beat you once. What do you think about this?
I'll face anyone. I'm a MMA employee. Whomever they say, I'll fight. I never choose my opponents. I faced the better ones in my weight class, so I'm able to fight anyone. But another fight against "Babalu" would be a tasty rematch to me. I would love it.
What do you think about Sokoudjou? They say you are the contender to fight him.
He is a very good athlete. He kicks very well and has good judo skills. He defeated two top fighters -- "Minotoro" and Ricardo Arona (Pictures) -- but if they offer him to me, I'll take it. I fight anyone.
A PRIDE title shot against Dan Henderson (Pictures) is also in your plans, right?
For sure. My goal is to get this title, because it doesn't belong to Wanderlei anymore. I hope to get this chance, because I'm fighting at this weight class for a long time, and, thank God, I'm beating everybody. I think my title shot time has come.
What do you think about Henderson?
Dan Henderson (Pictures) is an excellent athlete. He is very professional, and I respect him a lot. But as a champion he is now, my goal is to face him. I'm sure I can fight well.
Wanderlei told us he would to relinquish his right to a rematch for the title if you would be the No. 1 contender. What do you think about his words?
I'm a huge fan of Wanderlei, not only in the ring but also as a person. If he said that, so he wants me to be the champion, and I'll give my best to repay his affection to me.
When he was the champion, even though you defeated every other contender, you would not face him for the title. Things have changed now? Do you feel more motivation?
For sure. This is a motivation and a big challenge. This is my goal now, because I want this title. Like I always fought for my dreams, I'll fight for this.
This UFC-PRIDE fusion is a little confusing. Everyday there is something new about it. Do you feel a little loss about this, too?
We are confused about it, because we don't know what is actually happening. I hope things get solved soon, because the athletes will have all the benefits with this fusion. This is a motivation for us to train more. And these changes are all welcome, because MMA in American is growing really fast, and it will spread all over the world, because everything that they do there, the rest of the world wants to do the same. If it happens there, will happen all around the world.
A lot of people are saying you would be a tough contender to Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures). Do you feel ready to face him?
Fedor is for sure the number one among the heavyweights. I would fight him. He is the heavier and more experienced guy, so he would feel the pressure to win, and I would fight very calm. I think I'm ready to face him, yes, because every time I fight, I overcome myself. Experience is everything.
Right after the last Cage Rage, you and your brother Murilo Rua (Pictures) gave some seminars in Germany. Tell us about it?
The seminars were awesome. I think there was something about 30 students there. It was great because MMA is not very known in Europe, but the audience there welcome us very well. We have a lot of fans there, and I hope to back there again soon.
You are in the cast of a movie in the U.S. Tell us about it.
I'll start my participation at July. This is a new way, I'm excited about it, and let us see the result. My character will be Philipe. I will be the bad guy, the villain (laughs). The movie will tell the history of a guy who was model, and started to fight, things ran well and he became the champion. It's all I know.
What can your fans expect about your next performances?
I want to thanks to everybody who's supporting us. I want to say that when I fight, I feel support coming from the crowd, and this is awesome. Every time I fight I try to give my best to give a very good show to the fans, to return the affection that they show for me.