According to UFCJunkie.com, UFC president Dana White officially announced on ESPN today that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will be debuting for the promotion at UFC 76 in September against Ryoto “Lyoto” Machida.
Here’s what Junkie has:
PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who recently signed a contract with the UFC, will make his Octagon debut at UFC 76 against undefeated Lyoto Machida (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
UFC president Dana White announced the fight during an interview that aired today on ESPN.
I’m quoting the Junkie on this one because I did not see the interview with my own eyes.
This is a very interesting matchup and one that I am looking forward to. However, it’s a bit of a surprise because Machida is not a high-profile opponent in the eyes of the mainstream yet is very dangerous. You’d think the UFC would want to introduce Shogun to the mainstream U.S. audience with a fight against a bigger name of lesser ability. Someone like Stephan Bonnar might be ideal.
I’m not trying to rip Bonnar, because I think he’s a talented fighter. But he’s not on Machida or Shogun’s level. At the end of the day, more people in the U.S. know Bonnar than Machida and a win over Bonnar would do more to establish Rua as a star than a hard fought win over Machida.
Shogun is one of my favorite fighters but why does the mention of Machida vs. Rua invoke memories of Cro Cop vs. Gonzaga?