A battle between a pair of former UFC Light Heavyweight champions could soon be taking place inside the Octagon.
Ariel Helwani reported on the possibility of a match-up between Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua being signed while appearing on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1. Helwani reported that Evan’s manager relayed his client’s desire to step into the cage with “Shogun” Rua in his next bout now that it has become clear to them that Alexander Gustafsson, Evan’s first choice for his next fight, will not be available to compete for some time still.
A bout with Rua, however, may also be difficult to sign quickly. The Brazilian is currently recovering from an injury and doesn’t expect to be cleared to fight again until the end of December. Helwani reported that Rua is unlikely to make a decision about his next opponent until after that time. If the fight is signed, though, it’s likely to receive a decent amount of promotional support. It could easily take place on the main card of a PPV, or even headline a televised event on FS1.
Rashad “Suga” Evans (19-4-1) is coming off of a decision loss to top light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader, but had consecutive victories over Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen in his two outings before his most recent setback. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (23-10), on the other hand, is coming off of a decision victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira from last August and will be on the hunt for consecutive victories for the first time since 2009 when he reenters the cage. Before his victory over “Lil’ Nog,” Rua had suffered two stoppage defeats in a row, falling to Ovince St. Preux and Dan Henderson in 2014.
If the contest does take place, a win for either man would have the potential to set them up for another run at the top of the light heavyweight division.