Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Stann would be a great choice to fight Rua if he ends up dropping to middleweight.
But wait a minute! Brian Stann is a middleweight!
Yes, that's right. Shogun Rua, though, is by no means a big light heavyweight. Frame-wise and height-wise, he has never been an especially imposing figure in the light heavyweight division. As fans have seen over the years, Rua never seems especially exhausted (or especially chiseled) at the weigh-ins.
I'm no doctor and no nutritionist, but Rua definitely seems like he's a guy that might be able to slim down enough to make 185 lbs. As fighters like Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson have shown, size is an important factor in today's light heavyweight division.
With other prominent middleweights like Demian Maia, Nate Marquardt and Chael Sonnen leaving the division, and Anderson Silva possibly taking time off and/or sitting and waiting for the much sought-after superfights, he may find himself closer to UFC gold as a middleweight at this point.
It certainly doesn't hurt that the division is actually somewhat lacking in the way of well-rounded fighters right now, with most of its top fighters getting by purely on either wrestling or kickboxing.
Brian Stann would be a great opponent for Shogun to start his middleweight career against. He is a very good, very beatable fighter with plenty of name value and a style that would likely make for a downright brawl if the two fought.
Folks like Jake Shields or Cung Le, or even some of the various Strikeforce imports we'll be seeing in the coming months, all make sense as potential opponents for Rua. If he does drop down, there are many exciting fights that could be made.