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Shogun Rua: I still want to become world champion again

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will be back.

Following a surprising first-round submission loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC Fight Night 26, the former UFC light heavyweight champion guarantees he won’t leave the sport without trying to reach the top one more time.

"I have 11 years in MMA and Vale Tudo, I won everything I always wanted," Rua stated in a press release. "I achieved everything I dreamed, but I want to do that again. I still want many victories; I still want to become the world champion again. Who decides when I will stop (fighting) or not is myself, no one else. Thank God I’m financially stable, and I keep fighting because I love it."

Sonnen handed Shogun his first first-round submission loss in his 29-fight career, and this is the first time he suffered two consecutive losses. However, his team is confident he did the best training for the bout despite the loss.

"Mauricio invested a lot in this camp, trained with the best, went to the United States to learn new techniques, so we decided to maintain the same team," Leonardo Salomao, Rua’s manager, stated in the release. "He trained with Freddie Roach in the US, took Jacob Harman to Curitiba, had the support of Glaube Feitosa, Roberto Gordo and Renato Babalu on his corner. He was really well prepared, but Sonnen was better. Mauricio is a winner and I’m sure he will be back."

Rua was always criticized for his cardio in his losses, but he had no time in this fight to show the result of his preparation. Shogun praised Sonnen for his performance on the quick win, saying he did "everything" he had to do to get ready for the fight.

"I’m a really competitive guy, who hates to be defeated," he said. "I know I did everything I should have done during my preparation, but Sonnen was better on the fight. Unfortunately, in the fight (business), we have to wait a lot to return and bounce back. In soccer, you lose on Sunday and win on Wednesday, everything is ok. I’ll get back home, see what went wrong on the fight and train hard to make sure that mistake won’t happen again."

Rua, who didn’t state when he plans to fight next, sent a message to his fans.

"I’m a big fan of Ayrton Senna, but I didn’t think he was bad when he lost," he said. "I was a true fan, I admired him for what he did, winning or losing. His name is in history now and I believe mine will be in the history of MMA. I thank the fans for their words on social media, you are very important for me."