Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Shogun Rua Eyes September Bout in Japan, Talks Potential OSP Rematch

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is targeting a September bout in Japan, a country he is all too familiar with.

There was a time when Rua was considered to be the most lethal striker in all of mixed martial arts (MMA). “Shogun” had a renowned run under Pride Fighting Championships (Pride FC). He had many career defining moments in Japan such as his TKO victories over Quinton Jackson and Alistair Overeem.

Many of those moments were inside the Saitama Super Arena, which is the venue for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) September event in Japan. Speaking with Combate, Rua said he’s more than willing to return to the “Land of the Rising Sun:”

“I fought back in March, talked to my team, and (I’m) expected to fight in September. There’s going to be a UFC (event) in Japan, I have a big affection for the country, for the people, and I think it’s cool to fight back there. My focus is to fight there, being the main fight or (co-main event), it does not matter. What matters most is being on that card. I have fond memories of Japan. Energy is good. If it works, I will fight in Saitama Super Arena, where I was world champion.”

“Shogun” is currently riding a three-fight winning streak. His last defeat was a TKO at the hands of Ovince Saint Preux. Rua said he has respect for “OSP” and would like to have another bout with him.

“I have the greatest respect for Saint Preux, a guy who has already beaten me. It’s a fight I’d like to do again. Who knows, (maybe) it will not be against him? I’m at his disposal if I go. I do not think much where I am in the (title picture). We’ll have Daniel Cormier against Jon Jones, there’s (Alexander) Gustafsson, who I think will be the next to have a chance and (then you) have (Jimi) Manuwa, who fights in July. I’d rather think (about) fighting (my) fight. If I think about it later, I do not focus on the fight. From my own experience, I think only of the next fight. I know that, for being an athlete who has been fighting for many years, for being a former champion, the title race can happen sooner than I imagine. If it does, I’ll be super happy. I face every fight like a dream. The belt is my big dream.”

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