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Shogun Rua Out Until March, Leaving 205-Pound Division in Holding Pattern

Shogun RuaLAS VEGAS -- Rashad Evans won a light-heavyweight championship title opportunity when he beat Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in May, but he's going to have to wait a while to cash in his golden ticket.

UFC President Dana White confirmed Thursday that current champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua won't be back in the octagon for another eight months, likely returning in March 2011.

Still, White took that as good news, saying that his surgically repaired knee is healing well since a recent surgery.


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"Shogun's great, his knee's coming along great," White said just after the UFC 116 pre-fight press conference. "It's all good."

Rua (19-4) captured the title at UFC 113 in May, when he avenged an earlier controversy loss to Lyoto Machida by becoming the first man to defeat him. The Muay Thai stylist knocked out Machida in just 3:35 to take the belt.

Meanwhile in the division, a rumored matchup pitting the aformentioned Jackson against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has not been put together by the company, as has been reported by some MMA news outlets.

"It's not true, we don't have anything set up yet," White said. "With that division right now, Little Nog could fight Rampage, Rampage could fight Machida. There's a lot of fights we could make and we haven't made any decisions on that fight."

Asked if Nogueira-Jackson is being seriously considered by the UFC, White held his cards to the vest.

"We're looking at all of them," he said. "Time-wise, Rampage is still promoting the [A-Team] movie overseas, so we're trying to figure out what the next fight will be."
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