UFC 161 Hosts ‘Shogun’-Nogueira Rematch; Hendo-Evans Pairing Also Targeted for Winnipeg


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The Ultimate Fighting Championship will visit the Canadian province of Manitoba for the first time when the organization holds UFC 161 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on June 15.

UFC President Dana White confirmed the news to USA Today on Monday. White also announced that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will collide at the event in a rematch nearly eight years in the making. That contest is expected to be featured during the evening’s main card, which airs live on pay-per-view.

The pay-per-view card could also see former Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson square off with onetime UFC titlist Rashad Evans, but “Hendo” would first need to receive medical clearance, White said.

Rua and Nogueira first met in Sherdog.com’s 2005 “Fight of the Year,” squaring off in the quarterfinals of Pride’s second 205-pound tournament. Rua emerged victorious in that back-and-forth affair, earning a hard-fought unanimous decision en route to capturing the tournament crown two months later.

Shogun joined the UFC in 2007 and captured the light heavyweight championship in 2010 with a first-round knockout of Lyoto Machida. After undergoing knee surgery, Rua relinquished his belt to current champ Jon Jones the following year and has since gone 2-2, most recently suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Swedish prospect Alexander Gustafsson on Dec. 8 at UFC on Fox 5.

Five years older than his foe, Nogueira, 36, has won nine of his last 11. “Minotoro” made his Octagon foray in 2009, knocking out countryman Luiz Cane before taking a controversial split decision from Jason Brilz the following year. Though back-to-back defeats to Ryan Bader and Phil Davis would follow, Nogueira responded with a one-sided technical knockout of UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz to close out 2011. The Brazilian then spent nearly 14 months on the shelf due to injury but returned to the cage last month, upsetting Evans in a lackluster UFC 156 co-headliner.

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