A light heavyweight rematch between former 205-pound champ Maurico “Shogun” Rua (25-10) and Ovince Saint Preux (20-10) will headline the UFC’s return to Japan in September. News of the fight was recently announced by promotion officials.
UFC Fight Night 117 will be held Sept. 23 from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. It will be the UFC’s first visit to Saitama since September 2015 when Josh Barnett won a five-round decision over Roy Nelson in the UFC Fight Night 75 main event.
Rua’s last loss came against Saint Preux back in Nov. 2014 when the former University of Tennessee linebacker knocked him out in just 34-seconds at UFC Fight Night 56 in Brazil. Since then though “Shogun” has won three straight, starting with a unanimous decision over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in Aug. 2015. The following May “Shogun” earned a split decision over Corey Anderson, and most recently he scored a TKO win over Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 106 in March. Now 35 years of age, “Shogun” will attempt to reclaim some of that glory he previously experienced in front of the Japanese fans when he won the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix over a decade ago.
Saint Preux rebounded from a three-fight skid in April when he submitted Marcos Rogerio de Lima with a Von Flue choke at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville. Prior to that he had dropped decisions to Jon Jones (for interim title) and Volkan Oezdemir and was knocked out by Jimi Manuwa. Now 8-5 in his UFC tenure, Saint Preux has finished 10 of his 20 career wins via knockout and five by submission.
The current UFC Fight Night 117 includes:
- Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
- Gokhan Saki vs. Henrique da Silva
- Jussier Formiga vs. Ulka Sasaki
- Naoki Inoue vs. Jenel Lausa
- Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Syuri Kondo
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