Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira became legends for their fights in the Japanese PRIDE organization. The two first fought in the quarterfinal of the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix with Rua winning by unanimous decision. Nogueira had to wait a decade to get a rematch, but he finally got it at UFC 190 on Saturday.
Their first fight was a war, and the rematch didn’t disappoint. But Nogueira wasn’t able to change the result.
Rua took the center of the cage and inched forward. He landed heavy kicks to the body and showed glimpses of his younger self. As he looked to be finding his range, Nogueira landed a left hand that put the former champion on wobbly legs.
Rua covered and retreated while Nogueira put together combinations looking for the finish. Rua was on the verge of having the fight stopped, but survived the round.
“I did feel that punch. I was a big groggy for a while. I knew I just had to recuperate and get back in the fight,” said Rua following the bout.
Rua opted to get the fight to the ground in the second frame and quickly put Nogueira on his back. He landed right hands, but Nogueira scrambled back to his feet. Rua continued to deliver kicks to the body, and it was an even fight heading into the third.
In the final round, Rua continued to attack Nogueira’s body with kicks. He took Nogueira down and escaped a guillotine choke. In the end, Rua pressured Nogueira enough to sneak away with a unanimous decision victory.
“I knew that he was a tough guy. I knew that he’d be well prepared, but I won. I got the victory,” said “Shogun” after the win.
With the win, Rua rebounded from back-to-back losses and put Nogueira on a two-fight skid.