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Rematch between Forrest Griffin and Mauricio Rua planned for UFC Rio

The UFC’s return to Brazil after a decade-plus gap between visits has taken another step towards becoming one of the more memorable cards in recent history, as it appears Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-5) will face Forrest Griffin (18-6) at the August event in a rematch of a 2007 pairing where Griffin eventually emerged victorious by way of a Rear-Naked Choke in the waning seconds of the bout.

News of the match-up was reported by MMAFighting where UFC President Dana White confirmed the likelihood of the two former 205-pound champions meeting in late summer.

The original fight at UFC 76 marked Rua’s debut in the Octagon and a performance he would undoubtedly like to redeem himself for after lacking the speed, power, and overall fitness he’d been known for in the past. Shortly after the bout it was revealed Rua had suffered a knee injury while training and sacrificed part of his full regiment as a result.

The PRIDE icon will be looking to bounce back from the soundest defeat of his career when he fights in front of his countrymen in Rio de Janeiro, a two-and-a-half round drumming from current divisional champ Jon Jones.

Meanwhile, Griffin rode the momentum of his win over Rua into a shot against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson where he ultimately walked away with the UFC’s light heavyweight title but has only gone 2-2 since including TKO losses to Anderson Silva and Rashad Evans. However, he has emerged with his hands raised in his last two fights with decision wins over Tito Ortiz and most recently Rich Franklin.

UFC Rio is set for August 27 at the HSBC Arena and is expected to feature a number of notable Brazilians in action. Already announced for the show is a headlining title with 185-pound champion Anderson Silva defending his title against top contender Yushin Okami.


  • Niv says:

    That’s a very intruiging matchup and one that I think Shogun needs to win convincingly. He just got the beatdown of his lifetime, and he needs to get a psychological victory as much as he needs a big win.

    I still feel Shogun can make another run at a title, but it all depends on how healthy he can stay.

    This could be a real war, the conditions are just right.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  • Creature says:

    Im gonna say Forrest takes this one as well, i think it will be a competitive fight, but i see forrest using his jab and leg kicks to set up take downs, and get another UD win

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  • MCM says:

    I think a lot of people are gonna write Forrest off in this one.
    “Shogun was still injured the last time they fought.”
    “Look what he did to Machida, the old Shogun is back.”
    “Forrest never should have won the title in the first place.” etc. etc.

    Personally, I think Griffin takes this one just like he did last time. O.K., maybe he doesn’t get the finish, but he’s definitely gonna out work Shogun for 3 rounds en route to a UD.
    Shogun just hasn’t looked good since leaving PRIDE. Maybe it’s the rules (no soccer kicks), maybe it’s all the knee injuries, I don’t know. But unless he gets that knock out in the first round, I don’t see him winning this fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  • YetiLee says:

    I am one of those people who is writing Forrest off, I honestly see no way Rua loses this fight. He was injured and out of shape when they fought the first time , no way he will be this time. Griffin on the other hand has been a shell of his former self ever since his loss to Anderson. As much as I like Forrest I see him losing in the 1st round and then running from the cage.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I dont think Forrest wins here but I also wrote him off in the first fight. I think Forrest can out wrestle Shogun and get a decision for sure, but if Shogun comes in shape it will be a very exciting fight-just like the first one.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    I feel like neither fighter is finishing the other…

    My Heart says Forrest by UD… But my Mind says Shogun by UD.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  • Angry Mike says:

    Maybe it was his injuries or just accumulated wear and tear, but he looked tired and flat-footed against Jones. It was a real contrast to how he looked and fought against Machida. If the “Machida” Rua shows up, he’s the clear favorite, imo. If the “Jones” Rua shows up, Forrest has the advantage. Either way, Kick Forrest, Kick! How much (more) punishment can Rua’s knees take?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  • Just like the first fight, I think this’ll be competitive. But Forrest has the cardio advantage over even a Healthy Shogun…or anyone at 205 for that matter. the longer Forrest can keep from getting tagged too hard…the better for him.
    Forrest by SD and a new candidate for fight of the year.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • JabCrossHook says:

    I think SHogun will turn the pressure on and TKO forrest in the 2nd round

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • s00nertp says:

    lets see:
    Knee surgery -> fought Forrest = Shogun looked horrible & out of shape
    Knee surgery -> fought Jones = Shogun looked horrible & out of shape

    In both cases, he did almost no kicks & appeared to have no cardio. That was not the Shogun we saw vs Machida, who never gassed & dominated in any way he wanted (15 leg kicks in 1st round).
    by comparison, Jones only had 31 strikes in round 1 vs Shogun… 15 kicks would have been half of all the striking… Shogun did 1 kick the entire fight vs Jones

    Good article on the knee surgery from mmamania on 6-10-2010 shogun-rua-undergoes-knee-surgery

    Wiki page explains it clearly:

    Rua had difficulty with the larger Griffin and became exhausted in the second round of the fight. After losing both of the previous rounds, Rua ultimately succumbed to a rear naked choke in the final seconds of the third round. Most blame his poor cardiovascular fitness on the fact that Rua suffered a knee injury during training for the fight. He re-injured the knee during the fight and had elective surgery afterwards.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  • s00nertp says:

    lol, I put some notes in brackets, but I the page rendered them as html comments… I dont want to post again to correct it, but please just forgive the mistakes.

    I am not a frequent poster so I guess they are rookie mistakes. I love 5oz’s articles however and rarely miss a day where I dont check it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Dufresne says:

    I’m not sure where I’m sitting on this one. At first glance I thought “Shogun’s gonna get his redemption and embarrass Forrest here. What did Forrest do to piss them off enough to get this matchup?” But then I started thinking and realized that Forrest looked better in his last fight than he has in a while, he’s already beaten Shogun using basically the same gameplan he just used to beat Franklin, and Shogun hasn’t been consistent at all since he’s been in the UFC.
    You can say Shogun looked like crap in his first fight with Forrest and in his fight with Jones because he was coming off knee surgery, but what accounts for him looking like crap when he fought Coleman 4 months later? On the other hand Forrest always shows up in shape and ready to go 5 rounds even when it’s a 3 round fight.
    Does Shogun have the tools and talents to decimate Forrest? Absolutely. Does that mean he’s going to decimate Forrest? Not at all.

    I give Shogun the advantage in the early rounds but I have to give the advantage to Forrest the longer the clock ticks. I’m picking Forrest by UD 29-28.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Niv says:

    Dufresne actually the pattern with Rua’s poor performances is easy to follow in regards to his knee issues.

    The 1st Forrest fight Rua did not have surgery yet, he came into the fight with a badly injured knee. Then he had back to back surgeries between the Forrest fight and Coleman fight.

    If you check the dates Rua’s UFC debut was September 22, 2007 and his next fight was with Coleman January 17, 2009. That’s not 4 months apart, and now throw in the near year layoff and knee surgery before fighting Jones and we can see why he looked so bad.

    I really don’t know where Shogun is now, but the knee is 100% the issue and if he can stay healthy he’ll be a contender and possibly champ again, if not he’ll be a tragic story of a great fighter betrayed by his body.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • bigbadjohn says:

    The wiley Griffin can stick around in a fight even after multiple rounds of punishment and I haven’t seen a boring Shogun fight before – must say I am excited for this one. Shogun by late round stoppage. Forrests not the same animal he once was

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • stone says:

    I think we saw a pretty shitty version of Shogun against Jones… Does anyone else think Jones could’ve easily beat him in the 1st round…. He was comin off of a 1yr layoff, he should look way better in this fight. Especially being that he’d be avenging a loss in Rio… I’m goin with Shogun on this one!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Dufresne says:

    Good call Niv, I got my dates wrong.

    Shogun looked a lot better against Lyoto than he did against either Forrest or Coleman, so if the pattern continues it should make this a very intense fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0


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