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Passed over by Strikeforce, Murilo “Ninja” Rua signs with DREAM

After getting passed over by Strikeforce during its acquisition of 42 fighter contracts from ProElite, a new published report indicates that middleweight Murilo “Ninja” Rua is set to return to Japan after signing with DREAM.

Rua, the older brother of UFC light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, is scheduled to compete at DREAM.8 on April 5 in Saitama, Japan, according to The former PRIDE superstar last competed on Oct. 4 during EliteXC and CBS’ Saturday Night Fights, where he lost a second round TKO to Benji Radach.

An opponent has yet to be determined for Rua’s DREAM debut but he is quoted as saying that his opposition will be of Korean descent. The elder Rua appears prepared to take a fight on short notice as he is currently in Brazil helping his brother train for his upcoming fight with Chuck Liddell during next month at UFC 97

Rua, 16-9, also stated that he has been training with top UFC middleweight contender Demian Maia while also going on record to say he believes his brother will defeat Liddell. According to “Ninja,” his brother is in great shape and has regained a lot of quickness and other attributes needed to make him a contender for the UFC light heavyweight title.

The first-ever EliteXC middleweight champion has gone up against some of the best fighters in the world during his career. Notable opponents have included Ricardo Arona, Akihiro Gono, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Dan Henderson, Paulo Fihlo, Denis Kang and Robbie Lawler.