USA TODAY: UFC 161 set for Winnipeg with Nogueira-Rua; Henderson-Evans targeted


antonio-rogerio-nogueira-11.jpg(This story appeared in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

The UFC will visit the Canadian province of Manitoba for the first time as Winnipeg’s MTS Centre hosts UFC 161 on June 15.

UFC President Dana White confirmed the plans with USA TODAY Sports on Monday.

According to White, a rematch between Brazilian veterans Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC) and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has been booked for the evening’s main card, which will air on pay-per-view.

Brazilian website Tatame first reported the possibility of the matchup, though a location for the card was not reported.

Additionally, former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (17-3-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) could face ex-PRIDE and Strikeforce titleholder Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC), White said, adding Henderson was awaiting medical clearance.

Winnipeg becomes the fifth Canadian city to host a UFC show.

Evans looks to end a two-fight losing streak after dropping back-to-back decisions to current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Nogueira.

He had flirted with the idea of a potential move down to middleweight in recent months but instead will likely face Henderson, who dropped a close split decision to Lyoto Machida last month at UFC 157.

The bout was the first in 15 months for Henderson, who missed out on a promised title shot with Jones while he recovered from a knee injury in 2012.

Rua and Nogueira, meanwhile, renew a rivalry that began in 2005 when the two faced off in the quarterfinal round of PRIDE’s middleweight grand prix.

In a fight that many news media outlets dubbed fight of the year, Rua earned a hard-fought unanimous decision victory. Rua went on to win the star-studded and historic 16-man tournament a few months later.

The two fighters have seen mixed results in recent years. Rua has alternated between wins and losses during his past eight fights, which included a brief UFC title run from 2010-2011 and a December defeat to Alexander Gustafsson. Nogueira, meanwhile, recently halted a two-fight losing skid with back-to-back wins over Tito Ortiz and Evans.

As MMAjunkie.com previously reported, UFC 161 also is expected to feature a welterweight bout between Jake Shields (27-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Tyron Woodley (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

UFC officials will announce additional UFC 161 bouts, as well as a ticket on-sale date, in the coming weeks.

For the latest on UFC 161, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira)

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