As reported yesterday, UFC light heavyweights Chael Sonnen and Mauricio Rua are set to meet inside the Octagon. However, it looks like the tilt won’t be taking place at UFC 161 as expected. Rather, Sonnen’s status as a late replacement has resulted in an issue with traveling to Canada for the clash and, as a result, the UFC has pushed the pairing back a few months.
Rua confirmed the change in a conversation with TATAME, explaining, “I’m very sad that I won’t be able to fight at June 15. I got so much ready for this with my team of coaches. I was crazy to fight. I had already changed my strategy, I was ready to get in action, but the UFC told my manager that Sonnen had problems to get a visa to fly to Canada. That’s why they cancelled the fight, and that’s a shame.”
“I’ll have to wait a little longer to fight again, but my will is only getting bigger,” he concluded. “UFC asked me to keep training (and said) that I would fight on August 17, at Boston. I’d like to thank the support of my fans, they always gave me strength to train harder and fight.”
The date/location referred to indicate Rua and Sonnen will be squaring off at UFC on FS 1. It is unknown if the scrap would serve as the show’s headliner, though it seems likely given the card’s current lack of a main event match-up.
Based on the rumble’s removal from UFC 161 a fight featuring 205-pounders Igor Pokrajac-Ryan Jimmo has been moved up from the prelims onto the PPV portion of the event.