Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Jimi Manuwa is being eyed for UFC Fight Night 56 in Brazil.
Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC is looking to make the light heavyweight contest on UFC Tonight. The potential matchup would put the No. 9- and No. 11-ranked contenders against one another in the evening's main event.
Rua is 1-3 in his last four fights, and 3-5 ever since dropping the light heavyweight strap to Jon Jones in March of 2011. The one-time kingpin of the division has fallen on hard times, but a win against Manuwa would put him right back in the mix.
Shogun was winning his last outing against Dan Henderson but got rocked in the third round. Henderson was able to finish him off, and Shogun was left battered. That fight was not that long ago, and he took a lot of damage.
Manuwa entered his March bout against Alexander Gustafsson as an undefeated fighter. He was unable to score the upset, but at 14-1 he still has one of the best records in the 205-pound division.
The matchup would be the second-straight fight for Shogun in Brazil and will mark the first time Manuwa has fought outside of the United Kingdom.
The U.K. light heavyweight has looked well inside the Octagon, but Shogun will be his second-straight upper-echelon opponent. His performance against Shogun will be telling as to what his ceiling in the division is.
This proposed bout is a must-win for both fighters and will go a long way to helping sort out the 205-pound division.
The potential main event is expected to be official in the following weeks.