According to Brazilian sports outlet Tatame, vaunted striker Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is rumored to rematch Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at a yet-to-be-named June event. The bout is one that has been discussed for a while now, and the timing is right with Lil Nog coming off a win over the surprisingly sluggish Rashad Evans at UFC 156.
The two fought a back-and-forth battle at Pride Critical Countdown in 2005, where Shogun took home the win. Now, the tables have turned a bit, as Nogueira looks to ride the momentum he has gained with victories over Tito Ortiz and Evans. Nogueira had looked to avenge his loss to Shogun, but injuries kept him on the shelf until lately, where he has looked effective but not incredible in beating two former champions (perhaps in the twilight of their careers however).
Shogun, on the other hand, has put on some entertaining bouts during his tenure in the UFC. But his career has been on a rollercoaster as of late, evident by his recent TKO of Brandon Vera followed by a clear-cut unanimous decision loss to Alexander Gustafsson in December. He has been unpredictable in the UFC, whereas in Pride he was a wrecking ball rolling through tough competition left and right. Those wars have most likely begun to take their toll upon his body.
It will be interesting to see how much gas these two warriors have left in the tank, but if last weekend is any indication, this bout could be a war. While the exact event location has not been pinpointed at this point, there’s no doubt in my mind that this fight could serve as a great co-main event for a PPV or headline a Fuel or FX card.
I see this as potentially a great bout. Who do you think will emerge victorious? Either way, Pride fighters aren’t ready to hand the reigns over to the new generation just yet.