After Lyoto Machida turned down a title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 152 because of the short notice and the UFC turned to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
According to Shogun’s manager Julio Heller, they were willing to take the fight against Jones but not at UFC 152 on September 22nd.
Heller talked to Tatame.com and stated that they told the UFC they would take the fight if Shogun could have the fight later this year.
“We were in Sao Paulo and my phone rang about midnight. It was Lorenzo’s (Lorenzo Fertitta is a partner in the UFC),” Heller told Tatame. “Lorenzo was on another call, so I talked to him like half hour later. He offered me a rematch against Jon Jones because Lyoto had declined it and asked me to give him an answer in ten minutes. I hung up and Mauricio was there with me. We talked and called Dida in Curitiba and we got to a conclusion we should accept the rematch, but only if Shogun had a couple of months to train and it would mean a fight later in October or in November. I said that to Lorenzo but he said there was no time because Jon Jones’s fight is on September 22nd. Unfortunately, he couldn’t give us this time but he understood.”
Shogun’s camp wanted to have a three month training camp to take on Jones, but that does not fit into the plans for the UFC. The UFC wanted to have Jones headline UFC 152 on September 22nd, so they moved on and Vitor Belfort accepted the fight with Jones.
Shogun will still meet Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 5 on December 8th and the winner of that fight will be a possible title contender for the UFC light heavyweight champion in 2013.