Last week UFCmania reported here that Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was rumored to have signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Last night, UFC commentator Mike Goldberg officially confirmed it.
Not that anyone would have noticed.
Amidst the signing of Dan "Hollywood" Henderson and the aura of Chuck/Rampage II, the Shogun signing may have been easy to overlook.
Almost like Shogun himself.
At 16-2 and just 25 years of age, the unassuming Shogun has made a name for himself by terrorizing the PRIDE middleweight division since his successful debut at Bushido 1 back in 2003.
While some fans have not been impressed with the legacy of PRIDE (especially after the brutal KO of Mirko Cro Cop to Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70), let me assure you that with 13 of his 16 wins coming by (T)KO, Shogun Rua is a force to be reckoned with.
Just ask newly crowned LHW champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Rampage was on the receiving end of a bona fide beatdown courtesy of the Brazilian superstar, and aside from his freak accident against Mark Coleman at PRIDE 31, Rua has been nearly perfect.
And don't expect to wait around for Shogun to make his presence known. He's scheduled to be at UFC 72 in some form or capacity.
It may be just a formal introduction ala Minotauro Nogueira, but the mere site of him in the Octagon is enough to kick my fantasy matchmaking into high gear.