A lot of fighters would probably have trouble getting pumped for a third bout with someone they’ve already defeated twice. But, in the case of ‘Shogun’ Rua , and his trilogy fight today with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, that’s clearly not the case.
Rua says he’s “very happy” about today’s fight
The former light-heavyweight champ is set to face Nogueira in the co-main event of UFC Fight Island 3 , which is going down today in Abu Dhabi. The Brazilian legends have fought twice before, and Rua emerged from both fights with the win.
The two battled for the first time all the way back in 2005, when both men were fighting for PRIDE. ‘Shogun’ won the epic battle by unanimous decision. Then, ten years later, the stars were booked to fight at UFC 190. Rua also beat ‘Lil’ Nog’ that night by decision.
Well, although you could argue Rua has very little to gain by facing Nogueira yet again, it seems clear the 38-year-old is still excited about the match-up (quotes via MMA Junkie ).
“Yes, it’s crazy,” Rua told the media recently. “I fought Nogueira (at) the start of my career, the middle and the final.
I’m happy because Rogerio is a legend of the sport, and I know this fight motivates him, but for me, too, and I’m very happy for this fight.
“It’s exciting for me because I know Nogueira wants this fight, and I know he told Dana White, ‘I want ‘Shogun’ again’ because this motivates him for me.”
And although some might question whether the fight will be as thrilling as their previous encounters, on account of where both men are at in their careers, Rua maintains that won’t be an issue.
“We’re both fighters that are looking for knockouts every time.” Rua said.
“He fights aggressively standing up, I fight aggressively standing up, so naturally our styles match in this way, and it opens up and tends to be an exciting fight all the time, and I think that’s what we’re going to be looking for again.”
It will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Recently the 44-year-old Nogueira announced that the bout will be the final fight of his storied career.
UFC Fight Island 3 line-up
UFC On ESPN 14 Main Card On ESPN/ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till
205 lbs.: Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Gustafsson
115 lbs.: Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez
205 lbs.: Paul Craig vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov
170 lbs.: Alex Oliveira vs. Peter Sobotta
170 lbs.: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Rhys McKee
UFC On ESPN 14 Prelims Card On ESPN/ESPN+ (5 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Jai Herbert vs. Francisco Trinaldo
170 lbs.: Nicolas Dalby vs. Jesse Ronson
265 lbs.: Tom Aspinall vs. Jake Collier
145 lbs.: Movsar Evloev vs. Mike Grundy
265 lbs.: Tanner Boser vs. Raphael Pessoa
135 lbs.: Bethe Correia vs. Pannie Kianzad
170 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev vs. Niklas Stolze
135 lbs.: Nathaniel Wood vs. John Castaneda