Shogun Rua is currently (and shockingly) on the best streak of his UFC career, having won three straight inside the octagon. At this week’s UFC Fight Night 117 in Saitama, Japan, he had the chance to avenge his most recent setback, a 2014 TKO just 34 seconds into his main event fight with Ovince St. Preux at UFC Fight Night 56. The rematch with OSP was a big deal for Shogun, who rose to prominence in Japan’s Pride organization. Unfortunately, an injury forced him off the UFC Saitama card earlier this week.
Shogun, who has been replaced by Yushin Okami at the event, released a statement earlier today addressing the injury that forced him out of UFC Fight Night 117’s main event.
Posting to his official Instagram and Facebook accounts, Rua said that “Fighting has been my life for more than 15 years. It’s what I have chosen for myself, and what I love to do. For me it’s really hard to have to step out of a fight, really difficult, and to accept that this was the only viable alternative wasn’t easy at all.”
“Unfortunately, still early in this camp, I injured my knee. I spent all Camp doing all within my reach to be able to fight on September 23rd, trained the whole time under medication, protection in my knee, ice and physical therapy. I went beyond my limit because fighting in Japan again is something I have been dreaming about for a long time, because I didn’t want to disappoint the fans, and because I was raised this way in martial arts by my master.”
However, it appears trying to push through just made things worse. “Unfortunately all the effort was just aggravated the injuries, and there came a time when my team and I had to accept that there were no more alternatives, and I had to get out of the fight. It wasn’t easy” Rua’s statement continued. You can view his full post below
No timetable is set for Rua’s return. In the meantime, Ovince St. Preux will face Okami, who is making his return to the promotion on a four-fight win streak, having most recently competed in WSOF/PFL. UFC Fight Night 117 (UFC Saitama) takes place Friday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. It airs on FXX in the U.S., following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.