Former Pride standout Murilo “Ninja” Rua has signed a three-fight deal with Ohio-based Shine Fight Promotions, according to his manager, Eduardo Alonso. Alonso added that UFC veteran Falaniko Vitale has been mentioned as a potential opponent for Rua’s Shine debut, tentatively scheduled for early 2010.

Rua (17-10-1), a former EliteXC middleweight champion who has split his last six bouts, hopes to revitalize his career in the upstart promotion.

Alonso told Sherdog.com by e-mail that Strikeforce did not show proper interest in Rua and that Shine made perfect sense because of the serious investment they are making in building the promotion.

At just 29 years old, Rua will look to revitalize his career in parallel fashion to his younger brother, light heavyweight contender Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who nearly unseated undefeated Lyoto Machida as UFC champion last month.

Shine has run two events so far and has garnered media attention for signing former boxing standout Ricardo Mayorga to fight in mixed martial arts.

Mike Fridley contributed to this report.

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