Former PRIDE stars Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira do not have a fight card, but they have a fight. The two are set to rematch sometime in June. Currently, the UFC has two events scheduled for that month. The first is the finale of the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, which pits Fabricio Werdum against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and the other is UFC 161, which is set for Canada. The original report stated that the fight between Nogueira and Rua would not be taking place in Brazil so this fight will most likely set for UFC 161.
These two light-heavyweights first fought back in the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix in 2005. That bout ended in a decision victory for Shogun, who went on the win the whole tournament. This fight does seem a little off, though. Nogueira just captured the biggest win of his UFC career by becoming only the third man to defeat Rashad Evans; Shogun has gone 1-2 in his last three fights, with losses to Dan Henderson and Alexander Gustafsson sandwiched around a TKO win over Brandon Vera.
Dana White said the UFC was leaning toward a bout between Shogun and Evans, but it looks like those plans have changed. It is possible that Nogueira asked for this bout, because back in the winter of last year he asked for a rematch with Shogun and nothing came of it. Maybe he used his clout after his big victory to finagle the fight he wants. If that is the case, this fight is high-risk with little reward based on each fighter’s standing in the division.