Mauricio Rua is opening up about his recent decisions outside of the cage. | Photo: Sherdog.com
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua surprised many Tuesday when he announced on Twitter that he will no longer work with Eduardo Alonso, the manager who has overseen his career for nearly five years. Sherdog.com caught up with the former UFC light heavyweight champion to find out more about his decision, what it means for his career and when he might return to the Octagon.
Sherdog.com: There are news outlets reporting that you have parted ways with manager Eduardo Alonso over a contract with a marketing agency. Is that true?
Rua: Actually, it wasn’t for that reason. Since Chute Boxe, I’ve always worked with three people or companies: my manager, my coach and a media team that takes care of my image. Unfortunately, I hadn’t found a team that inspired my trust, and now I found a good team.
Eduardo is a very competent guy, but he doesn’t like this way of operating; he prefers one person taking care of everything. Not commanding everything, but overseeing everything. I don’t agree, [I prefer] each guy in his area. I like him, I know he likes me, but there was some conflict of ideas.
My coach is Andre “Dida” [Amado], and now I’ve got a company to take care of my image. No one can have power over everything, and I prefer it that way. There are other things that I can’t discuss, but it’s no use to talk about them. He is my friend and I respect him a lot.
Sherdog.com: Who will manage your career now?
Rua: There are some different people helping me with this part right now; I’m still thinking. The UFC has made it clear that we don’t need a manager; all negotiations are conducted by the athletes themselves. A manager today is not like in the Pride days. At that time, they had much more weight. I am in favor of a manager, that’s not the reason that I separated from Eduardo. I want to work with people nearby: Eduardo works in Sao Paulo and I’m in Curitiba. But, this is not the only reason. There are others, like I said.
Sherdog.com: Can you estimate a time for your return to the ring?
Rua: I’m in negotiations now. There’s nothing scheduled, but in the next few weeks, I should have something. For the moment, nothing is certain yet.
Sherdog.com: Andre Dida, as you said, will again be your head coach, as he was in the first fight against Lyoto Machida. How is your partnership?
Rua: I love him as a teacher. We parted because he wanted to work outside the country. We didn’t break up or anything. Now, he’s returning and for me, it was perfect. I like him, trust him. He’s responsible for my training; Dida assists with everything in my training. I want to work in the gym like the Chute Boxe times, each guy working in his area and me, 100 percent focused on the fight.
Sherdog.com: And will you be in Curitiba to train for your next fight or will you train in another city?
Rua: I’ll stay in Curitiba. We’re assembling a good team here. We’re bringing a pro jiu-jitsu guy -- we are negotiating with him now -- and Dida will decide on the other sparring partners and coaches.
Sherdog.com: What do you expect in the Jon Jones-Rashad Evans fight?
Rua: Jones is the favorite; he’s the best in the category. But Rashad is a guy who does not give up easily, and has only one defeat, to Lyoto. It will be a tough fight.