Maurício Rua vs Antônio Rogério Nogueira 3
Maurício Rua (-190) (26-11-1)
Shogun has a 2-0 lead in this trilogy. They first fought in 2005 and then in 2015, both times ending in unanimous decision. Shogun is 38 years old and is currently in his 13th year in the UFC. He’s a legend of the sport, a champion in both the UFC and PRIDE. His last fight ended in a draw against Paul Craig and he showed excellent resilience in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. He’s actually 4-1-1 in his last 6 fights, and he’s got some decent wins over guys like Corey Anderson and Tyson Pedro. The one loss came to Anthony Smith who eventually worked his way to a title shot. Shogun will look to take full advantage of a co-main event opportunity against Nogueira on Fight Island.
Antônio Rogério Nogueira (+155) (23-9-0)
Nogueira is 44 years old and he got steamrolled by Ryan Spann last time out. He landed 6 significant strikes before being knocked out in the 1st round. He’s a legend of the sport as well, but he does appear to be at a later stage of his career. He’s lost 4 of his last 6 fights, and he’s only fought twice in the last 4 years. He did get a TKO over Sam Alvey in one of those fights however, so he does still have the power to get it done. He’ll look to find that power shot again and avoid falling 0-3 to Shogun Rua.
Prediction: Maurício Rua via Decision
They’re both towards the end of their careers but Shogun has more ways and a stronger will to win. He’ll also have confidence knowing he’s already beaten Nogueira twice. This will be the slowest version of Nogueira yet and I don’t expect him to be able to find the knock out this time either. Shogun should be stronger, faster, and more durable. Take Shogun for the 3-peat.