Don’t look now, but a trilogy fight between a pair of mixed martial arts legends is heading to UFC 250. ESPN, citing UFC President Dana White, revealed Thursday that Shogun Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Little Nog) would meet at the event. If the fight goes through as planned, it will be the pair’s third meeting.
Rua (26-11-1), properly Mauricio but rarely called anything but Shogun, rose to fame in Japan’s PRIDE organization in the mid-2000s before joining the UFC 2007. Earning himself a title shot in just his fourth UFC bout, he’d come up short against Lyoto Machida — a decision loss many saw as a robbery. Rua won the rematch, however, but his reign would be a short one, as the light heavyweight champ was paired up against Jon Jones next.
We all know how that went. Shockingly, Rua embarked on the first three-fight win streak of his UFC career from 2015 to 2017, and has gone 4-1-1 across his last six fights. His only loss in that span came to title challenger Anthony Smith, while he fought to a draw against Paul Craig in his last outing.
Things have been far less rosy for Nogueira (23-9), twin brother of famed UFC heavyweight (now retired) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Little Nog is just 2-4 in his last six bouts, and is coming off a knockout defeat at the hands of Ryan Spann. He fought just once in each of the last two years, and not at all in 2017.
Nogueira lost both his previous bouts against Shogun, via unanimous decision at Pride Critical Countdown 2005, and again via unanimous decision at UFC 190 in 2015.
UFC 250 takes place May 9, 2020 at the Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil.