3 hours ago
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Rashad's crumpling of the Iceman has totally thrown the light heavyweight division out of whack and Shogun Rua seems to be lost in no man's land. Following the UFC 88 upset, Rua came out and said he wants Evans or Franklin next, but neither really makes sense to me. Evans is already locked in for a title fight with Forrest and Franklin is just beginning to test the waters at the 205 level. Since a Rampage versus Wanderlei Silva match up appears to be on the horizon, it is unclear who Rua will take on next. Two opponents that immediately come to mind are Lyoto Machida and Sokoudjou. Machida has battled his way to a 13-0 record and holds wins over many top fighters, but he doesn't seem to be the favorite of UFC brass or his fellow fighters because his style of fighting is considered overly defensive. Most experts say styles make fights and offensive juggernaut Rua might just be the opponent to find the chink in the defensive Machida's armor. Similarly, Sokodjou is a judo expert with knockout power, who likes to put on a show and when you combine that with Rua's relentless stand up, I think fireworks. No one doubts that Rua has the talent to take the title in the 205 lb division, but he hasn't fought in almost a year and he needs to beat a legit opponent to put himself back in top contender status. I think a win over either of these opponents would put him right near the top of title contention and set up a possible rematch between himself and Forrest Griffin, which would be a dream fight for the UFC.