A report out of Brazil suggests that former champions Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua could make their returns to the Octagon this August in Rio de Janeiro.
According to Brazilian website UOL Esporte, it’s rumored that Big Nog could end up facing Brendan Schaub while a rematch with Forrest Griffin is possible for Shogun Rua at UFC Rio. Translation via reader Ed Lib:
And, after 18 months and two surgeries, Nogueira may return from his past loss against Velasquez in 2010. The website (UOL Sport) has verified his return is almost certain to happen in Brazil. Rumors indicate his next challenge could be the American Brendan Schaub.
After being severely beaten by Jon Jones, and losing the belt at UFC 128, Shogun is confident in returning to the octagon on Rio. “ We’re already talking about my next fight; I’ve spoke to Dana and it makes perfect sense for me to come back soon and in my home. I think this will happen,” said the former light-heavyweight champion. It’s been said that one possible next opponent would be Forrest Griffin.
I’d personally love to see a Rua-Griffin rematch. I think it makes a lot of sense for both of their careers at the present moment. It would give Shogun the chance to rebound and avenge one his losses which he wasn’t 100% for and give Forrest the chance to get back in the title hunt and prove the first win wasn’t a fluke. I don’t know if I’m as crazy about Big Nog fighting a heavy-handed Brendan Schaub in his first fight back from that wicked knockout loss to Cain Velasquez, but none of this has been confirmed by the UFC yet, so we’ll have to wait see how it plays out.
Update: Well, here you go. Dana White confirmed to MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta that Shogun Rua will in fact return at UFC Rio and he will fight Forrest Griffin. Still no word on Big Nog though.
Update: Shogun tells Sherdog that he is considering reuniting with his former Chute Boxe coach Rafael Cordeiro to train for the Griffin fight.
“It’s an open possibility, a possibility I’m considering,” Rua told Sherdog.com. “I’m always looking to develop my game, and I have a great affection for Rafael, who was my coach in the past. We’ve been talking about that for a while. We’ll do it again, and I’ll decide what’s best for me. Choosing the people I work with is a very private decision, and I’m the only one who will make it.”
“[Griffin] is a very tough and talented guy,” Rua said. “He’s also a former division champion. His striking is good, his takedowns, too. And his ground game is dangerous, so he’s a complete fighter. I’ll have to practice everything to beat him.”