A longtime veteran of the sport with knockout power and a dangerous BJJ game, former PrideFC start Antonio Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira is again gunning for a long awaited rematch with former PrideFC Middleweight Grand Prix champion & former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. With the timing of a potential rematch with Rua, Nogueira is also hoping that this could decide the coaching positions for the next season of TUF: Brazil. Nogueira is coming off a Rnd1 TKO victory over former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at UFC 140 in December 2011, and Rua is coming off a Rnd4 TKO victory over former WEC Heavyweight champion Brandon Vera in the main event of UFC On FOX 4 on August 4, 2012.
Prior to UFC On FOX 4, former Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida was vocal about potentially coaching TUF: Brazil 2 against Rua. But following his impressive victory in the card’s co-main event he was declared the #1 contender in the division and now awaits the victor of the upcoming title bout pitting champion Jon Jones against former PrideFC Welterweight/Middleweight champion and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Dan Henderson. With Machida now sitting on the sidelines awaiting his title shot, Rua and Nogueira appear to be the only available big name Brazilian competitors available in the same weight class to coach the upcoming season.
Nogueira and Rua first fought each other in June 2005 as part of the second PrideFC Middleweight Grand Prix. With each fighter earning Rnd1 stoppage victories in the opening round of the tournament, Nogueira with a Rnd1 Submission over Dan Henderson making his record 11-1 and Rua with a Rnd1 TKO over Quinton Jackson making his record 9-1, both advanced to the quarterfinals where they would meet. Entering the bout with impressive stoppage victories and dangerous reputations preceding them the bout was expected to deliver fireworks. The bout ended up delivering as the two battled all the way to a decision that went the way of Rua. The bout was so exciting that it makes the top 10 and even top 5 lists of favorite fights from PrideFC for many MMA fans, and even took Fight of the Year from Sherdog.com.
Since that fight with Nogueira, Rua has gone 11-5 with ten of those victories coming via stoppage. Those wins have included his only victory via Submission coming over former Kevin Randleman, and victories via form of knockout over Alistair Overeem (2x), Ricardo, Cyrille Diabate, former UFC champions Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, and Forrest Griffin, and most recently over former WEC champion Brandon Vera making it his 18th victory via form of knockout out of 21 total. In that time Rua won the PrideFC 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix and the UFC Light Heavyweight championship, and awarded 2x Fight of the Night and 2x KO of the Night honors.
Since that fight with Rua, Nogueira has gone 9-3 with seven of those victories coming via stoppage. Those wins have included one via Submission over Dion Staring, and victories via form of knockout over Alistair Overeem, Edwin Dewees, Vladimir Matyushenko, Luiz Cane, and most recently over former UFC champion Tito Ortiz. In that time Nogueira has been awarded Fight of the Night and KO of the Night honors.
Now seven years later after their epic bout, the two appear to be destined to clash again on the biggest stage in the sport: the octagon. Nogueira appeared to be in a slump when riding a two fight losing streak in the UFC at the hands of TUF8 winner Ryan Bader and decorated collegiate wrestler Phil Davis, but in his fight against former division kingpin Tito Ortiz he proved to be even more dangerous than his days in PrideFC as let loose with powerful strikes to finish the fight. While Rua has not had the best luck in the octagon with a record of 5-4 in the UFC, he has still proven to be one of the most dangerous and exciting fighters in the division with all of his victories coming by way of knockout over former champions and claiming the #1 position in the weight class when becoming champion five years after winning the grand prix in PrideFC. With Nogueira hungry to avenge the five year old loss, and Rua aiming to reclaim his title, TUF: Brazil 2 appears to be the best way to lead into the eventual match-up of these two Brazilian stars.
Written by @MMAFANHQ