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Both Paul Craig And ‘Shogun’ Rua Want to Run it Back

Both Paul Craig [1] and ‘Shogun’ Rua [2] scored wins at last weekend’s UFC Fight Island 3 card, and afterward, both light-heavyweights relayed they’d be down for a rematch.

Image Credit: UFC / Twitter

Craig and Rua say they’d like to battle again

At last Saturday’s card, both Rua and Craig were fighting for the first time since they fought to a draw last November.

In the case of Craig, he took on Gadzhimurad Antigulov and scored a first round, submission win with one of his patented triangle-chokes. Rua, meanwhile, faced Antonio Rogerio Nogueira for the third time, and worked his way to another decision win over his fellow legend.

After the bout, the 38-year-old Rua was non-committal about when he’ll fight next. But, when floated the possibility of a rematch with Craig, the former champ reported he’s interested (quotes via MMA Junkie [3]).

“This is a good option. I want this fight, too,” Rua said. “I want this fight, too. I think (we can do) this fight one more time.”

And what about Craig? Well, when the 32-year-old, Scottish fighter was asked about his next bout, he went out of his way to mention Rua. [4]

“I would love to run back a fight, and you know what fight I’d love to run back. It ended in a draw for me. It was against Shogun Rua.

I had an opportunity to fight one of the greatest fighters in my division and I took that in a heartbeat.

But from his point of view, he took a last-minute opponent. … so it was unfair on him as well. If both of us had a full fight camp, what would that fight look like? Could it be another legendary fight for Shogun Rua?

Could I then go in the history books with Shogun Rua? That’s what I want. But Shogun Rua, as we know, tends not to have a quick turnaround, so there’s other fighters there.”

Could Rua – Craig 2 happen?

Now, at first glance, booking a rematch between Rua and Craig makes a lot of sense. They both want the bout, the first ended in a draw, and a rematch has the makings of being pretty entertaining.

But…at this stage of Rua’s career, you have to wonder if the UFC might look at having him fight a bigger, more established name than Craig.

The latter is a captivating fighter to watch, no question, as he’s always a threat on the ground. But, at the end of the day, he doesn’t have the same profile as say, Nogueira.

Craig also made a good point about not fighting often. Case in point, Rua only fought once last year, and that was against Craig.

But, you never know; maybe we will see these two go at it again.