by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Former Pride Grand Prix champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has signed a contract to face former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. Sources close to MMAWeekly confirmed that the fight will take place in either May or June, but more than likely at the next event in London, which Ultimate Fighting Championship officials have already said would be June 14 at the O2 Arena.
The UFC has been the subject of much speculation in regards to negotiating a broadcast network television deal. Although nothing has been announced, in a recent media conference call, UFC vice president of operations and productions Craig Borsari indicated that they were hopeful that they could have something in place for the June event in London.
Once considered the top 205-pound fighter in the world, Shogun saw most of his success in Pride Fighting Championships. The former Chute Boxe fighter holds wins over notable opponents such as Alistair Overeem, Kevin Randleman, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Ricardo Arona and the current UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson. In his long awaited Octagon debut at UFC 67, Rua was submitted by Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin.
Liddell is coming off one of the most significant victories of his career with an exciting unanimous victory over Rua’s former teammate Wanderlei Silva. The much-needed win ended a two-fight losing streak for the “Iceman.”
The bout was first speculated when Liddell told Sport Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim, when questioned about his next opponent, “Possibly Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. That’s what they’re saying. If it’s the June fight, it will probably be in London. But my trainer is trying to get it moved to Vegas.”