Mauricio Shogun Rua was supposed to face off with Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 19 on April 19th, but an injury to Rua forced him out of the fight with the fellow former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion. Still, whatever the kept the Brazilian off that card will not keep him away long. It will only be a little more than three weeks later that he will fight at the UFC 198 card which is taking place in Brazil. Rua will be taking on rising star Corey Anderson.
Anderson sits at 8-1 overall with 5-1 in his UFC career. Anderson faced off with Matt Van Buren in the Light-Heavyweight finales and won by TKO. He lost his only fight overall just two fights after when he was bester by Chris Weidman training partner Gian Villante. That loss spurred him to his current three fight win streak, all by decision, over the likes of Fabio Maldonado and Tom Lawlor. The fight with Rua will be his firs big test and could spur him into the top ten at 205 and to much bigger fights in the future.
Rua has had a tough time since losing his title to Jon Jones as he has gone a pedestrian 4-5 in that span. He picked up wins over a past his prime Forrest Griffin, the now fired brandon Vera and the nearly retired James Te-Huna before picking up a win over long time foe lil Nog. TO be honest, he has not picked up two straight wins in nearly seven years so that does not bode well for him in this fight. His five losses were to decent fighters though with two TKO losses to Dan Henderson, a decision loss to Alexander Gustafsson and submission loss to Chael Sonnen.
The biggest precursor to this fight though is that last time he faced a strong, young, and powerful wrestler he was knocked out cold by OSP. While Anderson is not on OSP’s level, yet, he is still very similar in style and skill. Maybe a fresh off injury Rua will ready, or this could be the final stand of a longtime fighter in his home town. Who knows but it should still be fun to watch.