The 2005 Pride FC Middleweight Grand Prix winner, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, earlier this week did indeed sign a bout agreement to challenge UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida, which will more than likely take place at UFC 104 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 24.
SuperLutas.com.br was able to confirm the rumored match up with sources close to the Brazilian's camp.
Rua is coming off a first round technical knockout of former 205-pound champion, Chuck Liddell, at UFC 97: "Redemption" last month. He defeated Mark Coleman via third round technical knockout in a lackluster performance earlier this year at UFC 93: "Franklin vs. Henderson" to earn a crack at the "Iceman."
It's perhaps not the match up that most fans expected, especially when UFC President Dana White revealed over the weekend that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson would be the first to challenge Machida for his newly-won world title. But that all went out the window a few days later when Jackson apparently pressed UFC officials to settle a score with Rashad Evans via The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 first rather than compete to get his belt back.
That left Machida -- who flattened Evans at UFC 98 to win the belt -- all of a sudden without a number one contender ... until now.
Keep in mind that White did not announce the bout yesterday during a media conference call because he indicated that not all bout agreements were finalized. That more than likely means Machida -- who is currently celebrating his big win on a beach near Belem -- may still have to agree to the fight and formalize it with a signature.
We'll keep you posted.