Mauricio "Shogun" Rua had been scheduled to make his 2013 debut at UFC 162, but an injury to opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira pushed that debut back. Now, the Brazilian is set to headline a new card and face a new opponent. At UFC on Fox Sports 1 in Boston this August, he will take on Chael Sonnen.
The Rua vs. Sonnen matchup presents an interesting stylistic pairing of striker versus wrestler. It is one that has played out inside the Octagon hundreds of times before, sometimes favoring the striker, other times the wrestler.
The matchup also presents an interesting clash of personalities between the always laid-back and classy Rua and the loud, insulting and often obnoxious Sonnen.
While Sonnen has yet to launch any shells Rua's way since the fight was announced, there is little doubt something is in the works. Sonnen rarely misses the opportunity to prod at his opponents pre-fight, and that is doubly true for Brazilian opponents.
For his part, Rua says he knows what is coming and isn't going to let Sonnen's jabbering rile him up. When speaking with Brazilian media outlet Tatame, the former light heavyweight champ had this to say, with translation from MMA Mania:
He disrespected [Antonio] Nogueira [and] Wanderlei [Silva]. About me, he still said nothing. But disrespecting Wanderlei is enough. He is a controversial guy that really likes to talk a lot, but I'm cool. Sonnen will surely want to say something to me, but it does not affect me at all.
Shogun's stance is the one you'd expect him to take, given his always-relaxed demeanor. But how well he is able to maintain his current disposition toward Sonnen will be something worth monitoring as we move close to fight night.
That is assuming Sonnen returns to his usual tricks, an assumption that can be made with relative confidence.