Rua vs Nogueira 2, Henderson vs Evans Targeted For UFC 161The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to make its debut in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on June 15th. UFC 161 will take place at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre and features a light heavyweight rematch between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira.

Rua and Nogueira first faced off in 2005 in what was widely viewed as one of the best fights in Pride Fighting Championships history. Also targeted for UFC 161 is a bout between Dan “Hendo” Henderson and “Suga” Rashad Evans. USA Today first reported on the planned matchups on Monday.

Rua (21-7-0) first rose to fame in Japan as the winner of the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix, defeating Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona in succession to win the tournament. The victory over Nogueira came via a razor-thin decision and some observers felt that Nogueira had deserved the nod on the scorecards. Since making his UFC debut in 2007, Rua has had mixed success. He briefly held the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, but lost the belt in his first title defence against current champ Jon “Bones” Jones. He most recently dropped a one-sided decision to Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson in December.

Nogueira (21-5-0) did not possess the same level of star power as his twin brother Rodrigo during his time in PRIDE, but he put together a solid 8-2 run under the PRIDE banner before moving on to regional competition when the promotion collapsed in 2007. After winning five straight fights, Nogueira joined his twin brother on the UFC roster and picked up back-to-back wins over Luiz “Banha” Cane and Jason “The Hitman” Brilz. Nogueira’s next two fights both ended in defeat, but he has since rebounded with a pair of victories over former UFC champions “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz and Evans. He will look to avenge a past loss and take another step towards title contention when he faces Rua in June.


Henderson (29-9-0) and Evans (17-3-1) are tentatively in line to face each other on the UFC 161 main card, pending medical clearance for Henderson following his loss this past month to Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. Prior to the defeat, Henderson had won seven of his past eight bouts and he had been in line for a shot at the UFC 205-pound title, but an injury forced him out of the title fight and he will now have to battle his way back to the belt. Evans is also looking to rebound from recent setbacks. His bid to reclaim the UFC light heavyweight title ended in a one-sided Unanimous Decision defeat to Jones in April and he most recently dropped a decision to Nogueira in a lacklustre performance this past month.

UFC 161 takes place on June 15th at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.



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