Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua Pulled from UFC 161, Show Moves Forward with 11 Fights

Damon MartinContributor IJune 3, 2013

UFC 161 took another major hit Monday as the promotion announced that following the injury to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the co-main event for the card has been scrapped with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua also being yanked from the upcoming show in Winnipeg.

Earlier Monday, Ivan Raupp of Globo reported that Rua was going to face former middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen on short notice, but the deal to secure the "American Gangster" apparently fell through at the 11th hour.

UFC officials confirmed via Twitter late Monday night that Rua was indeed off the card, and the show would proceed with 11 total bouts instead of 12.

Prior to the UFC's official confirmation of the change to UFC 161, Rua also headed to Twitter to confirm similar news.  Originally written in Portuguese, Rua stated that the deal to secure Sonnen as an opponent fell through, but he expected to be back in action on the upcoming UFC on Fox Sports 1-1 card on Aug. 17 in Boston.

UFC 161 has suffered numerous changes over the last few weeks, including the main event between interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland being removed from the card after the Brazilian suffered a foot injury in training.

With the main event gone, the UFC opted to call on heavyweight contender Roy Nelson to step in and fill an open main card slot against Stipe Miocic, who was already expected to compete on the show.

Then over the weekend, Nogueira fell out of his scheduled bout against Rua, and as of Monday, the entire fight including the former UFC light heavyweight champion was pulled from the show.

This is the second time in less than a year that a card has been scheduled for the western part of Canada only to see it ravaged by injuries.

UFC 149 in 2012 started out as star-studded event, including featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending his belt in the main event. By the time the show actually took place, almost the entire main card had changed from when it was first announced, including the headline fight, which ended up Barao against Urijah Faber in an interim bantamweight title fight.

UFC officials gave no other word on Rua's next fight or update on why the fight with Sonnen did not come together.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.