Dana White recently revealed to Luke Thomas on MMA Nation that newly minted light heavyweight champion Shogun Rua will not fight again in 2010. The UFC President did add that Shogun will return to action in 2011.
Coming out of his brutal knockout win over Lyoto Machida, Shogun once again injured his knee, an area of the body that has plagued him throughout his career; forcing him to undergo surgery yet again.
With six months left in the 2010 calendar year, and no certainty on when exactly Shogun will be ready to rumble in 2011, it begs the question: will the UFC be forced to set up an interim title fight in 2010?
Currently, the light heavyweight division is in a bit of a flux.
Lyoto Machida is coming off the loss at UFC 113 to Shogun Rua.
Rampage Jackson is coming off his loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 114.
And despite riding a two fight win streak, Rashad Evans was blasted by Lyoto Machida back at UFC 98.
Anderson Silva, who could very well challenge for the 205 belt, seems to be on lockdown at middleweight for the time being. Although, if Silva gets by Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 he could easily enter into the thick of things if Dana allowed it.
Other light heavyweight fighters ranked in the top 10 of the division include Forrest Griffin, currently without a scheduled fight, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, currently rumored to be slated in a fight with Rampage Jackson at UFC 119, or UFC 120.
There is also Rich Franklin, fresh off his vicious KO win over Chuck Liddell; and perhaps the hottest commodity in the division, rising phenom Jon Jones, who is set to battle Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko on the UFC Versus 2 card.
And last but certainly not least, UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture is set to welcome James Toney to the octagon in a match that is set to take place later this summer at UFC 118.
So, if the UFC were to put together a light heavyweight interim title fight, which two combatants would square off inside the octagon?
While it might be a bit premature, it also might be fun to start filling out our brackets now, in anticipation of what could fill the void of Shogun Rua’s absence.