Originally scheduled to take place May 9 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the event was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The fight will now take place July 25, according to UFC president Dana White.
In a recent interview with “Jackass” star Steve-O, White revealed the promotion’s plan to rebook Nogueira (23-9 MMA, 6-6 UFC) vs. Rua (26-11-1 MMA, 10-9-1 UFC) on the same card expected to be headlined by middleweights Darren Till and Robert Whittaker. The event is expected to take place on “Fight Island.”
Rua returns to the cage for the first time since a November draw against Paul Craig. Prior to that, “Shogun” won four of five outings. His only loss in that stretch came to future UFC title challenger Anthony Smith.
Nogueira, a 43-year-old light heavyweight, has lost four of six fights. His most recent outing came at UFC 237 last May, when he was knocked out by Ryan Spann. “Lil Nog” was scheduled to compete against Trevor Smith in November in what was pegged to be his final MMA fight. However, Nogueira withdrew because of an injury.
July 25 will mark the trilogy fight between the two Brazilian MMA legends. Their first meeting came at “PRIDE: Critical Countdown” in 2005. In the PRIDE middleweight grand prix quarterfinal, Rua swept the judges scorecards to win a unanimous decision. The rematch occurred a decade later at UFC 190 in August 2015. Once again, it was Rua winning by unanimous decision.