Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

No one's going to question Mauricio Rua's heart. His head is another issue. The Brazilian loves to fight, but he's also battled multiple knee injuries over the years. When it was brought to his attention that "Shogun" plans on a December return from his knee surgery, UFC president Dana White shot it down immediately.

"This kid keeps pushing it to get out there faster and faster," said White when asked about Rua's status by Rashad Evans on ESPN2's MMA Live. "I completely respect him for that. He's an animal. I love it. But there's no way he's going to be ready by December."

According to White, the promotion sent Rua to the best doctor in the country.

"People keep asking why he's had so many knee surgeries. That's exactly why he's had that many knee surgeries," White said. 

White pointed to spring or early summer of 2011 as the return time for Shogun. Evans responded, "That's a long way for your boy." Then he asked if there would be a interim title belt up for grabs at 205 pounds.

"I doubt it. When we did the belt for Brock [Lesnar], we didn't know if Brock was ever going to come back or if he'd be out for a year or two. No interim title. We know this kid is coming back. He's already had the surgery. He knows exactly the date he can come back."

Evans was offered a chance to fight at UFC 119 against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a co-main event with Quinton Jackson versus Lyoto Machida. He turned it down. Evans could be facing roughly 12 months off if Rua is out until early June.

White also said the winner of Junior Dos Santos-Roy Nelson at UFC 117 next week will get the winner of the October fight between Lesnar and Cain Velasquez. 

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