If Shogun was looking in as a spectator, he'd have taken the fight. It'd hard to see Shogun REALLY cleaning up the division and taking the title. He's an easy gatekeeper imo. I think Machida, Evans, Page etc. would all beat him. Sad to see, but Round 1-3 Vs Hendo and the Vera fight are just showing a slow and aged Shogun.
But at the same time, he's fighting and considered a top guy. He will truley believe in his ability to once again become the champion and won't see his downsides as harshly as us, so I don't blame him for turning it down.