Story by MMAWeekly.com; Photo courtesy of Andrey Klagenberg
In a statement released by his camp, it was stated that Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is readying himself for a return to the ring.
Following elbow surgery earlier this year, Shogun has returned to training, maybe a little bit sooner than most expected, and he could be back in action as soon as September 10th. It is expected that if Shogun does return on Pride’s September 10th card, it would be more of a tune-up type of fight since it would be his first fight after major surgery.
Aside from a possible fight on September 10th, the statement also confirmed that there is a possibility that Shogun will participate on Pride’s American debut show in Las Vegas. Speculation is that he could be stepping into the ring with the man that drove him to surgery in the first place, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman. October 21st will mark Pride’s first foray outside of Japan, and Shogun is said to be “very motivated to participate.”
Although it will be Pride’s first show outside of Japan, Shogun has fought in the United States before. He suffered the first of his two career losses when he faced Renato “Babalu” Sobral at the IFC’s Global Domination show in Denver, Colorado in 2003.
In February of this year, Shogun was expected by most to walk through his bout with Coleman, but he was taken down by the former UFC and Pride champion and landed awkwardly, which dislocated Shogun’s elbow and tore his tendons. The referee stopped the fight due to Shogun’s injury, which gave Coleman the TKO victory.
Following the bout, as Shogun still lay in the ring clutching his elbow, a brief skirmish ensued in the ring between Coleman’s camp and Shogun’s Chute Boxe teammates. Clearly, there is no love lost between the two sides, and Pride’s first attempt to test the waters in the United States would seem to be an ideal setting for a rematch between Shogun and Coleman.