Shogun Rua vs. Volkan Oezdemir Announced for UFC Chile

Mauricio Shogun Rua, UFC 198
Shogun Rua, UFC 198 in Brazil Credit: Gleidson Venga/

The legendary Shogun Rua is heading back to the octagon, against former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir.

On Wednesday, the UFC announced that former UFC light heavyweight champion and Pride legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua was returning to the octagon. Shogun, who is currently in a bit of a mini-resurgence in the 205lb weight class, will meet the last man to challenge for the light heavyweight title, Volkan Oezdemir. The fight will take place at UFC Fight Night 129, a.k.a. UFC Chile.

For Shogun Rua, it’s a chance — very likely his last — to ascend to the top of the light heavyweight ranks and put himself in position for a title shot. Rua (25–10), incredibly, is on the best UFC run of his career with three straight wins. Those have come against Little Nog, TUF winner Corey Anderson, and Gian Villante. Ranked #6 in the weight class, Shogun has not lost in the UFC since 2014, a knockout at the hands of Ovince St. Preux.

Rua won the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2010 in the second of two fights against Lyoto Machida. However, he would lose the belt in his first title defense against then 23-year old Jon Jones.

Volkan Oezdemir (15–2) won all three of his bouts under the UFC banner upon entering the promotion in 2017 to earn a title shot against Daniel Cormier earlier this year. Oezdemir picked up wins over St. Preux, Misha Cirkunov, and Jimi Manuwa, the latter two by knockout. However, he came up short in the title fight against D.C. at UFC 220. Cormier finished the Swiss fighter by TKO in the second round.

UFC Chile, or UFC Fight Night 129 if you prefer, takes place May 19 at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. The event marks the promotion’s debut in the South American nation.