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Murilo Rua looking at possible return to Japan

Murilo “Ninja” Rua, one of many fighters from the EliteXC roster left in a state of limbo following ProElite’s demise last week, has expressed a desire to return to Japan once his contract status is clarified.

“I don’t have anything set yet, I had two more fights to do at Elite and now I’ll see what I’m gonna do,” Rua is quoted as telling Brazilian MMA site “I’ll speak with my manager and look for another event, maybe in Japan. I don’t have anything right yet, but I believe Japan is a good opportunity.”

Before signing with EliteXC, Rua was a mainstay with the Japan-based PRIDE Fighting Championships for several years, compiling a 6-7 record under the PRIDE banner while competing in multiple weight classes.

Rua was the first-ever fighter to hold an EliteXC title following his second round TKO over Joey Villasenor during a co-promote between EliteXC and Strikeforce in June of 2007. The win earned Rua possession of the promotion’s then-vacant middleweight title.

He lost the title to Robbie Lawler during EliteXC’s “Uprising” event in September of the same year but proceeded to go undefeated in his next two fights. He was rewarded with a fight against Benji Radach during EliteXC and CBS’ third installment of Saturday Night Fights earlier this month. After several heated exchanges, Rua finally succumbed to Radach’s power and was TKO’d at 2:31 of round 2.

Despite the ProElite’s impending bankruptcy, Rua is taking the news in stride and is ready to move on.

“I already heard some rumors about that, but I wasn’t imagining that it’d happen so fast,” Rua said in the interview. “They did some events and they couldn’t make it, now it’s time to go after new opportunities, train hard and wait for another contract. I’ll continue training hard here to be ready for my next fight.”

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