After losing his UFC light heavyweight title to Jon Jones in March, Mauricio Rua decided to return to his roots and train with former longtime coach Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif. Though the collaboration yielded Rua’s highlight-reel knockout of Forrest Griffin in August, it appears Rua will prepare elsewhere for his main event tussle with former Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson at November’s UFC 139.
Eduardo Alonso, Rua’s manager, confirmed Friday to Sherdog.com that Rua will not return to Kings MMA to train for Henderson, but preferred to keep quiet on who will be involved in Rua’s camp. Alonso said only that workouts will take place in Sao Paulo, where Rua trained in 2009 for his UFC 79 win over Chuck Liddell.
Alonso asked understanding from media and fans curious about further information.
“We don’t see any advantage at this moment to feed our opponents information about the work we’ve been developing,” stated Alonso. “This is a work philosophy we’ve adopted at other times, and now we’ve decided to do it again. It’s nothing to do with the fans, and we understand their hunger for news. At the right time, further information will be given, but I can’t give up on what we decided and agreed to do.”
There had been no evidence of a rupture between 29-year-old Rua and his former Chute Boxe coach. In September, just before the announcement of Rua’s date with Henderson, Cordeiro stated that he expected Rua to return to Kings MMA as soon as possible. On Friday, Cordeiro told Sherdog.com that he was not hurt by Rua’s decision, but also preferred not to speak much on the matter.
“There’s no problem,” said Cordeiro, 38. “If he believes it would be easier for him to train [in Sao Paulo], then it’s great, go there. There’s no big drama. I just wish him the best and good luck. I want to see him holding the belt again. Life is made by choices and it was his and his team’s choice. God bless him and I’m OK with that.”
“I’m not in the habit of inviting athletes, because my gym doesn’t give exclusivity for anyone,” said Cordeiro. “Kings MMA is like an all-teams sister. Those athletes with the spirit of hard-working group mentality are welcome. This is the methodology that is helping us to grow. In that way, Kings MMA’s doors will always be open to Shogun, but I don’t have time to think about him as I need to get Wanderlei Silva prepared.”
Silva is slated to meet Cung Le in the UFC 139 co-main event, where “The Axe Murderer” will attempt to rebound from a crushing, 27-second July loss to Chris Leben. Cordeiro believes the former Pride middleweight champion will rise above the bad moment and put on a show against Le.
“He’s devoting so much of himself in training,” the Kings leader guaranteed. “It’s great to see him like that, motivated to overcome. I’m enjoying this hard work. He wants to get there prepared. Cung Le has an interesting game plan for him. He just fights on his feet, and that makes him much easier to study. Wanderlei accepted this invitation with pleasure and will make Le pay for his sacrifice in a brutal way.”