RUA vs. NOGUEIRA
Ten years after their first bout in PRIDE, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira got reacquainted in the UFC Octagon, with Rua winning a three-round unanimous decision, making it two for two against his friendly rival.
“I knew that he was a tough guy, I knew that he was going to be well-prepared, but I got the victory,” Rua, who defeated Nogueira in 2005, said.
All three judges scored it 29-28 for Curitiba’s Rua, now 23-10; Rio’s Nogueira falls to 21-7.
Rua looked sharper and more confident than he has in a while in the early stages of the opening round, landing hard kicks and winning the punching exchanges. That was at least until a short left from Nogueira wobbled Rua. From then on, Nogueira unloaded, but Rua fired right back, making this a fitting continuation of their first bout.
Getting a takedown to begin round two, Rua switched things up on his opponent, but after the action stalled on the mat, Nogueira found his opening to sweep his way out of trouble and back to his feet. A subsequent stall against the fence brought in referee Mario Yamasaki to restart the action, but Rua was able to score well with kicks to the body before the end of the frame.
With the fight possibly up for grabs, both Brazilian stars came out fast for the final round, Nogueira scoring with punches, Rua still firing away with kicks to the body. Rua tried to add to his point total with another takedown, but Nogueira fought off the attempts well, forcing the stand-up action. With a minute left, Rua was finally able to get his takedown, but he nearly got finished with a guillotine choke attempt before breaking free.