Mauricio Rua Talks About Rivalry With Gian Villante

Maurio Rua will be facing Gian Villante in the co-main event of Saturday Night’s UFC Fight Night 106 card. The Brazilian can appreciate that Villante is a fan of him, but insists their fight on Saturday Night is a part of a long standing rivalry.

“(Villante) has followed me for a while and says he’s my fan,” Rua said to MMA Junkie. “But this a thing that worries me. I need to watch out for that, because I know when the fight comes he wants to rip my head off and I want to rip out his. I can’t think, ‘Oh, poor thing, he’s my fan.’ I need to think that he wants to finish me, and I want to finish him. He certainly deserves some respect. I know he roots for me and has followed me for a long time, but on Saturday it’s a rivalry.”

Villante and Rua are both ranked in the top 15 of the UFC Light Heavyweight Division. While he’s entering the bout on a two fight winning streak, a loss would be shattering for Rua.

“(Losing is) always bad,” Rua said. “Because you put months into the preparation, so losing really sucks. But, as a fighter, you need to be ready for wins and losses. If I wasn’t ready for it, I would have given up already. I think every fighter needs to know how to lose.”

UFC Fight Night 106 takes place on Saturday, March 11 from the Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil with Kelvin Gastelum and Vitor Belfort headlining, the main card airs live on Fox Sports 1. Fightful will be providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.

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