Since losing to Dan Henderson last year at UFC 139, fans have yet to see Mauricio "Shogun" Rua return and compete inside the Octagon.
With possible opponents lined up for the Brazilian, ranging from Lyoto Machida and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Rua is scheduled to face Thiago Silva at UFC 149 on July 21 in Calgary.
Now, with an opponent and a date set, Rua is ready to make another run at the UFC light heavyweight title.
"I guess it’s going to be an interesting fight because Thiago likes striking and so do I. It’s gonna be ass kicking," Rua told TATAME.com. "I respect Thiago as an athlete and as a person. I know he’s very good and complete, but I’ll get there prepared."
It wasn't too long ago that Rua was atop the 205-pound division, only to be dethroned by current champion Jon Jones. Since then, Rua has been 1-1.
A possible win over Silva could launch Rua back into the upper echelon of the division, and with a few more wins, he could challenge for the title once again.
Although he has struggled to be consistent throughout his UFC career, Rua said he only has control over his performance during the bout. If he hopes to regain a title opportunity, he believes the outcome of his bouts will determine his future.
"Fighting for the title is just a consequence of good results on my next bouts," he said. "I have to get those wins first so I can get a chance at the title."