The lineup for the UFC’s return to Brazil in March continues to grow with the addition of another of that country’s legends.
Veteran fan favorite and former champion Mauricio Rua (24-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC) will fight Gian Villante (16-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) in a light heavyweight bout at UFC Fight Night 107. UFC officials announced the new booking today.
UFC Fight Night 107 takes place March 11 at Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
“Shogun” Rua has gotten back on track with back-to-back decision wins, giving him consecutive victories for the first time since TKO wins over Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell in 2009 in his second and third UFC fights, respectively, after coming over from PRIDE.
After those wins, Rua lost a controversial decision to then-champ Lyoto Machida at UFC 104, but won the 205-pound title with a knockout in a rematch at UFC 113. Rua lost the title in his first defense when he was stopped by Jon Jones with a third-round TKO at UFC 128, and that started a rough stretch that saw him go 3-6 before his two most recent fights.
“Shogun” took a “Fight of the Night” unanimous decision from fellow Brazilian legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 190 in August 2015, his only fight that year. And in May 2016, he took a split decision from Corey Anderson at UFC 198 – his only fight of that year. The booking at UFC Fight Night 107 will be Rua’s fifth straight fight in Brazil in front of his home fans.
Villante is coming off a “Fight of the Night” second-round TKO victory over promotional newcomer Saparbek Safarov at UFC Fight Night 102 in Albany in his home state of New York a month ago. Villante, a training partner of former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, has alternated wins and losses his past five fights, but has three “Fight of the Night” bonuses in his past six bouts.
With the addition, the UFC Fight Night 107 lineup now inclues: