Mauricio Rua

Countdown to UFC 93 Available for Free Viewing at UFC.com

“Countdown to UFC 93”, which will unfortunately not be airing on television in North America, is now available for free viewing on the UFC’s official website.

UFC Announces First Event in Dublin, Ireland

Rich Franklin.  Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The world’s most exciting sport returns to the Emerald Isle as the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization opens up 2009 with the star-powered UFC 93 card at the O2-Dublin in Dublin, Ireland on January 17, 2009.

In the light heavyweight main event, former two-division world champion Dan Henderson will collide with former UFC middleweight king Rich Franklin in three-round war which will set the tone for the 205lbs division in 2009.

Then, 2005 PRIDE® Grand Prix Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua returns to the Octagon™  to throw down with UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman in a rematch MMA fans thought they would never see. The pair last met in Japan in 2006, with the legendary Coleman pulling off a stunning upset by breaking Rua’s arm in the first round.

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Back to the Future: Recap Edition


Takanori Gomi. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

Here’s a little recap of what we might have missed over the past few days or so…

Gomi, Trigg Win at Sengoku IV

Former PRIDE standouts Takanori Gomi and Frank Trigg were victorious in their respective bout Sunday morning at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” event in Japan. Gomi earned a decision over Seung Pang Hwan while Trigg went all three rounds with Makoto Takimoto.

Former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz was upset in the first round of World Victory Road’s inaugural lightweight grand prix, losing via knockout to Mizuto Hirota. Kazunori Yokota, Eiji Mitsuoka, Satoru Kitaoka all also moved on to the tournament’s next round.

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Shogun-Coleman Possible for December


Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

After almost a year of inactivity, former PRIDE standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is currently targeting a potential return to action in December. His opponent for the UFC’s annual pre-New Year’s Eve show may be an old foe - none other than former UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman.

Rua expressed his desire to fight Coleman and even went as far to say that a bout between the two is currently in talks to take place at the end of this year with Brazilian magazine Tatame. “I might face Coleman in December, but nothing has been signed yet,” Rua said in a recent article.

The two originally faced each other at PRIDE 31: Dreamers in February 2006. Coleman was declared the winner after less than a minute after “Shogun” broke his arm while being taken down to the mat. After the bout a brawl ensued between members of Coleman and Rua’s respective camps. Phil Baroni and Wanderlei Silva exchanged blows and Coleman even stomped on Silva’s face at one point. An apology from Hammer House to Chute Boxe was unaccepted and bad blood between the two teams remains.

Both are also coming off injuries. Rua’s scheduled showdown against Chuck Liddell for June was called off after Rua suffered a ruptured ACL in his left knee. Coleman was signed to take on fellow standout wrestler Brock Lesnar next month but withdrew from the bout due to a torn MCL. A Rua-Coleman matchup would likely narrow down the list of future opponents for new 205 lb. champion Forrest Griffin, who will now likely face the winner of Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans’ fall bout at the end of the year.

“Shogun” Pinpointing December Return


Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

With his once-scheduled showdown against Chuck Liddell now far off in the distance, former PRIDE light heavyweight standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua now focuses on his return from surgery to repair a ruptured ACL in his left knee.

Despite inklings that Rua may once again be paired up with Liddell for the UFC’s debut event in Atlanta, Georgia in September, the former champion was matched up against rising contender Rashad Evans, leaving Rua on the outside looking in. However, UFC President Dana White stated at the post-fight press conference for this past weekend’s UFC 86 that he expects the Brazilian to be back in action this fall.

Rua says different. In a recent interview with Tatame.com, the Chute Boxe product is currently targeting December as a potential return date for himself:

“My knee is very good, thanks to God,” Rua said in the article. “I was going to begin my hard training this week but I spoke to my doctor and he decided to make the exams this week. I have been doing boxing and physical training, and I think next week I will return to jiu-jitsu and gradually train more. I will train hard to face anyone. I had a defeat in my debut and I can’t choose my opponent. It is not settled yet, but I expect to return on December, it’s better for me.”

Word on the street is that “Shogun” may have even had a second surgery recently to fix lingering problems with his ACL, which he has now torn twice in the past year, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Either way, let’s hope for a full recovery for Rua. There’s no need to rush back, especially in this case. His addition to the UFC’s annually stacked New Year’s Eve event would make it that much better.

White Attempting to Fix Things With Couture?


Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

While it’s pretty easy to assume that the current relationship between UFC President Dana White and his reigning heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, might be a little rocky considering White’s company filed a defamation suit against Couture earlier this year, things might be starting to get a little better between the two.

White was a guest this morning on CBS and XM Satellite Radio’s “Opie and Anthony Show” (audio here) where he talked about a variety of topics, including his current situation with Couture. As he’s done all throughout the past eight months since Couture formally resigned from the promotion, White had nothing but good things to say about the UFC Hall-of-Famer.

“I have nothing but respect for Randy Couture,” White said on the program. “This guy is a real fighter and he’s always fought the best fighters in the world. So whatever his reasoning his for wanting to sit out for the remainder of this thing, I want Randy Couture back in the UFC. I want him to be a part of this thing for the rest of his life and I’m trying to work that out with Randy right now so we’ll see what happens.”

Whether or not White and Couture are really trying to work something out remains to be seen, but this is the first time in quite a while that White has even mentioned anything related to an attempt to patch things up with Couture.

White also discussed his attempts to sign former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. While one of Couture’s main reasons for leaving the UFC was White’s inability to sign Emelianenko, he noted that his attempts were not made in vain.

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Liddell Injured; Evans Fight Postponed


Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Update 10:00 AM ET: The UFC has confirmed that Liddell has suffered a torn right hamstring and will be unable to compete against Evans in June. Photo of Liddell’s injury here. A new main event for UFC 85 is expected to be announced shortly. - John

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell has reportedly suffered an injury leading up to his June fight against Rashad Evans, leaving him unable to participate and postponing their showdown until later this year.

The news comes from our good friend Ariel Helwani of MMARated.com.

According to the report, the kind and extent of Liddell’s injury is currently unknown but plans call for he and Evans to fight later this summer. There is also no word as to whether or not Evans will still compete at the event.

The main event of UFC 85 has been in trouble from the start. Liddell’s original opponent, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, was forced to pull out of the bout after rupturing an ACL in his left knee during training. It’s an injury that required surgery and will keep Rua out of action indefinitely.

The fight was due to be Rua’s first since he was submitted by Forrest Griffin in his UFC debut in September.

Evans was originally scheduled to be fighting Thiago Silva in May before being tapped to replace Rua. The one-time standout college wrestler has not lost yet inside the confines of his UFC. Evans has been victorious in all of his bouts with the exception of a draw against Tito Ortiz last summer.

Liddell snapped a two-fight losing streak at UFC 79 in December where he won a unanimous decision over long-time rival Wanderlei Silva.

‘Shogun’ Surgery a Success; Fall Return Possible


Mauricio “Shogun” Rua weighs-in for UFC 76: Knockout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Less than a month after he was forced to pull out of his scheduled UFC 85 bout against former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in England, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is recovering after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured ACL in his left knee.

The former PRIDE standout told Sherdog.com‘s Gleidson Venga that he is currently recovering and won’t be able to get back to training for at least another two months.

“The surgery was very quick, lasted 50 minutes, and was quiet,” Rua said in the report. “Now I hope for healing and I think in about two months I can return to training slowly, very cautiously.”

Rua ruptured the ACL during a training session at his brand new martial arts academy earlier this month. The heavyweight winner of the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, Rashad Evans, will now challenge Liddell in June.

Therapy and time pending, Rua believes that he may be ready for a return to action this fall.

“Depending on my recovery, I think that I can fight again in September or October,” Rua said. “We always talked with Dana White and also would like to thank him because the UFC offered me a doctor, a physical therapist—all to get me help. They have been very attentive with me.”

“Shogun” Re-Injures Knee; Out of Liddell Fight


Mauricio “Shogun” Rua weighs-in for UFC 76: Knockout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell after rupturing an ACL in his left knee during a recent training session.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship posted the news on their official website earlier this afternoon, additionally reporting that Rua will require surgery and will be out of action for an indefinite amount of time.

“I’ve never seen “Shogun” so motivated for a fight like this in years,” said Rua’s spokesman, Eduardo Alonso in the report. “This was like a new beginning for him. He thanks his fans for all the support. It means a lot to him.”

The fight was due to be Rua’s first since he was submitted by Forrest Griffin in his UFC debut in September. A replacement opponent for Liddell will reportedly be announced shortly.

So who would be a good replacement for Rua in this situation? Any ideas? To be honest, I can’t think of anyone of the top of my head. Every single one of the big-time light heavyweights have been booked for bouts in the coming months.

Evening News and Notes: Feb 1, 2008


Eddie Alvarez has his hand raised after winning a unanimous decision over Matt Lee in July 2007. Photo by David Singer.

A lot of news coming to our attention late today…

Alvarez-Aina Possible at EliteXC April Show

Former BodogFight welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez is currently in negotiations to take on EliteXC lightweight Mike Aina at an unannounced show in April according to a report by The Fight Network, who confirmed the contract talks yesterday with Alvarez.

Alvarez is coming off of an impressive knockout of Ross Ebanez at the fourth edition of ShoXC’s Elite Challenger Series. The Philadelphia native signed a three-fight deal with EliteXC earlier this month. Aina has not fought since losing a razor close decision to Nick Diaz in September.

Liddell-Rua Signed for June

A rumored bout between former champions Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is now official according to Sherdog, who confirmed the bout with Rua himself earlier today:

“The fight against Liddell is confirmed,” Rua said. “I signed the contract yesterday. Now I am going to train hard, focused on him, to represent my new team, Universidade da Luta, and my country. The fight is going to be in June.”

This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell.

In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.

Edgar-Maynard Set for UFC Fight Night 13

Lightweights Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 13 in April according to Five Ounces of Pain.

We reported earlier this week through Five Ounces that Edgar was offered a bout against former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi by the UFC, only to have the plans fall through after the promotion was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.

Maynard was victorious last week, winning a decision over Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12.

Bisping-McCarthy Moved to UFC 83 in Canada

A planned bout between former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping and American Top Team’s Charles McCarthy has been moved from a tentative U.K. show in March to the UFC’s debut show in Canada on April 19th.

Our partner site Rogers Sportsnet interviewed Bisping earlier this week, who confirmed the move with the network.

While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days (he’s moving down to 185 lbs), McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.

PFC Announces Five Fights for March

The Palace Fighting Championship has officially announced it’s next event for March 20th at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.

PFC 7 will feature a pair of flyweight bouts: Luis Gonzalez will be back in action taking on David Mitchell while newcomers Ulysses Gomez and Greg McDowell will compete for the first time professionally.

Additional bouts include former UFC middleweight Justin Levens taking on Phil Collins, Darren Crisp challenging Danny Castillo, and PFC light heavyweight champion Jeremy Freitag defending his title against top contender Anthony Rubalcalva.

Art of War Acquires IFO-Steele Cage Assets

SUN Sports, the parent company of Texas-based Art of War has announced that it has acquired the assets of the recently defunct International Fighting Organization, which was run in conjunction with Steele Cage Promotions.

“We are delighted to be able to acquire the assets of the International Fighting Organization,” said SUN Sports CEO C.J. Comu stated earlier today in a press release sent out to the media. “We are also delighted to be able to acquire all the raw footage and finished broadcast production of the IFO events promoted by Steele Cage Promotions, which we plan on distributing globally. We feel that the film inventory will be a great compliment to the Art of War film inventory which will provide more available product to networks and distributors world-wide.”

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