The third bout with Rua could be Nogueira’s final as a professional MMA fighter, who will probably be retiring after UFC 250.
“This fight will probably be the last fight of my career, my farewell fight,” Nogueira said to MMA Fighting. “So being able to have this rematch with ‘Shogun’ is both challenging and motivating. I thank ‘Shogun’ for giving me this opportunity. I’m sure we’ll put on a great fight again.”
If Nogueira does decide to hang up the gloves, it would end a professional MMA career that began in August of 2001.
Nogueira wanted to avenge a pair of losses previously suffered to Rua, which is why the third bout against him made so much sense to the fighter.
“I was looking for a fight that made sense for me,” he said, “and this fight with ‘Shogun’ makes lot of sense for me because we started it in 2005 with one of the most memorable fights in MMA history, one of the best in PRIDE history. That fight in 2005 was very, very close. I believe I had the advantage, but they gave it to him. But the fight we did in 2015, I’m fully aware that I won the first two rounds. He took me down in the third round, but that fight was mine. I contested that decision a lot and Dana White even promised me a rematch. Five years later, I have the opportunity to fight him again. It’s the fight that makes sense for me to come back.”
UFC 250 takes place on Saturday, May 9 from the Ibirapueroa Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil with Henry Cejudo and Jose Aldo headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.