On Sunday, Globo.com (h/t MMAJunkie.com) reported that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was forced to withdraw from his summer showdown with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Any time a high-profile competitor suffers an injury, speculation over their replacement ensues.
If Chael Sonnen gets his way, he would be Nogueira's replacement—and Shogun's new opponent. Sonnen tweeted shortly after the news broke of Nogueira's injury that he would volunteer his services to as a fill-in at UFC 161.
Whether Sonnen's efforts will prevail is yet to be learned, but discussions are underway and Rua vs. Sonnen is at the very least a possibility at this point.
On Monday, Fighters Only spoke with Shogun about the shakeup, questioning him on Nogueira's injury.
"I think everybody wanted to watch this bout again, since we had a great duel at Pride [Critical Countdown 2005]," he explained. "I am sorry for Minotouro not to fight, it would be a very good fight, I am sure."
The first time the two squared off, a young Rua used a mixture of effective strikes and takedowns to earn himself a unanimous decision win.
However, Nogueira proved to be one of the stiffest tests Shogun had faced to that point in his career and the experience of the bout left him with nothing but respect for his fellow countryman.
“I respect Lil Nog so much, I have absolutely nothing against him," he said. "He’s a very nice guy. We’re opponents inside the Octagon, just it. I wish him a good recovery for him to return soon to do his good job."
It will be interesting to hear the tune that the always-classy Rua sings should Sonnen end up as his UFC 161 foe. The American is notorious for getting under his opponent's skin, something he has been particularly diligent about when matched up with Brazilian fighters.
Shogun neglected to comment about a potential scrap with Sonnen, but if the pairing is booked, you can bet noise will follow.
Not necessarily from Rua, but there will certainly be noise.