Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will be returning to action this coming March at UFC Fight Night 107, where he faces Gian Villante in the co-main event of the show.
UFC fans haven’t seen Shogun in the octagon since May of 2016, where he defeated Corey Anderson by decision, a break of nearly a year isn’t what Rua wants as he prepares to earn his third straight win in the UFC.
"The focus was to fight in Brasilia in September, but I had a little tendonitis that didn’t let me train harder,” Rua said to MMA Fighting. "It was no big deal, but it was a bit painful. They asked me if I could fight in Sao Paulo (on Nov. 19), but I couldn't either. I’m 100 percent now. I’m training well, and ready to go."
While Gian Villante isn’t necessarily the biggest name in the UFC for Shogun to fight, he is taking the fight seriously and he has been studying up on his opponent.
"I know him a little,” Rua said. "I’ll start studying him now, but I know he likes to strike and to go for takedowns. He’s well-rounded. He has good hands, good takedowns. I’ll train hard to be prepared in all areas and don’t get surprised, of course. I hope I can use my muay thai in this fight. I think he will strike to close the distance and take me down. For sure, he will try to take me down and stay on top, which is an advantage. I think he will fight strategically, but I will be prepared to win the fight.”
UFC Fight Night 107 takes place on Saturday, March 11 from the Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Forteleza, Brazil with Vitor Belfort ad Kelvin Gastelum headlining.