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Report: White announces Rua vs. Machida

According to, UFC president Dana White officially announced on ESPN today that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will be debuting for the promotion at UFC 76 in September against Ryoto “Lyoto” Machida.

Here’s what Junkie has:

PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who recently signed a contract with the UFC, will make his Octagon debut at UFC 76 against undefeated Lyoto Machida (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC).

UFC president Dana White announced the fight during an interview that aired today on ESPN.

I’m quoting the Junkie on this one because I did not see the interview with my own eyes.

This is a very interesting matchup and one that I am looking forward to. However, it’s a bit of a surprise because Machida is not a high-profile opponent in the eyes of the mainstream yet is very dangerous. You’d think the UFC would want to introduce Shogun to the mainstream U.S. audience with a fight against a bigger name of lesser ability. Someone like Stephan Bonnar might be ideal.

I’m not trying to rip Bonnar, because I think he’s a talented fighter. But he’s not on Machida or Shogun’s level. At the end of the day, more people in the U.S. know Bonnar than Machida and a win over Bonnar would do more to establish Rua as a star than a hard fought win over Machida.

Shogun is one of my favorite fighters but why does the mention of Machida vs. Rua invoke memories of Cro Cop vs. Gonzaga?

  • says:

    Definitely a very interesting matchup, and not an easy one for Rua to make his stateside debut with. I agree Sam that a matchup with Bonnar or someone of that type would have been better as an intro to the UFC, but I won’t complain since this fight is so good. Now I am waiting to see if Liddell appears on this card as well, supposedly the UFC(as we have all hear) is looking for a big opponent for him, and that the rumor is it will be Silva. That would make one heck of an interesting card with Fitch and Sanchez possibly fighting as well.

  • says:

    This card is shaping up nicely all ready. All they need now is a main event, with the rumors being its going to be Chucks return lets hope the Wanderlei fight finally materialises.

  • says:

    I pretty much had the same thoughts when I heard the fight announced. As a hardcore fan of Machida I know he can definitely bring it versus Shogun and on paper I think he is the better fighter. Not only does it seem odd to put Rua in such a high risk, low reward fight, it feels like they are deciding to bury Ryoto, maybe because his intended debut at UFC 70 was so “boring” (though it was probably a better fight than Arlovski vs. Werdum).

    Why not give Shogun a fight with Forrest Griffin, who ASKED for the fight? Meanwhile you let Machida pound on Bonnar again under a bigger spotlight, or feed him Lambert, whatever. He ought to be making his proper main card debut on UFN 11.

  • says:

    Rory, I think this is a much more odd pairing for Shogun then it is for Machida. Machida needs to now fight better fighters in the UFC. David Heath is probably okay, but he’s certainly not one of the LHW division’s top guys in the UFC. I personally wanted to see him fight someone in the top rung of the the division. And I think, like yourself he can do very well against Shogun. Even if he loses it will be good exposure to the UFC fans for him hopefully. It has the potential for Machida to be a winning situation even if he loses, as long as he at least puts on a good performance. I’m really looking forward to seeing this fight.

  • says:

    Bad style matchup for Shogun. Not a really winning situation either.
    Btw, it’s Lyoto Machida, not the Japanese hack job Ryoto. Sherdog be damned. The still can’t get it right even after he TOLD them in an interview that it’s Lyoto.


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