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Mauricio Rua to serve as Quinton Jackson’s final UFC opponent

If Quinton Jackson is indeed exiting the UFC after his next bout inside the Octagon, as he’s vowed to do, the 33-year old former champion will see a familiar face for his final appearance in Mauricio Rua. Jackson and Rua memorably mixed it up in 2005 under the PRIDE banner where “Shogun” scored a TKO stoppage a little less than five minutes into the melee assisted largely by legal kicks to a downed opponent’s face.

While no date is set for their meeting, the UFC confirmed the match-up as well as the company’s willingness to set Jackson free after the fight on this week’s episode of UFC Tonight. The pairing also aligns with a number of public statements from both Jackson and Rua in the past pertaining to their interest in a rematch.

“Rampage” has been seeking his release for the past few weeks, citing problems with pay and an overall level of respect from his longtime employers.

In addition to putting two former title-holders and all-around entertaining, high-level competitors inside the cage together, Rua and Jackson could both use a win as each is coming off a decision loss in their previous performance. Jackson came up short against Ryan Bader at UFC 144, while the Brazilian battle it out with Dan Henderson in a Fight of the Year contender last November.

Success-wise, Rua holds an overall record of 20-6 with wins over Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Alistair Overeem, and Lyoto Machida to his credit. Comparably, Jackson is 32-10 with notable triumphs against Liddell, Machida, Henderson, and Wanderlei Silva.

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PHOTO CREDIT – UFC