The rematch "Shogun" fans have been waiting over three years for is finally here.
Forrest Griffin and Mauricio Rua will hook 'em up one more time when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads to Brazil for its upcoming "Rio" pay-per-view event from the HSBC Arena on August 27, 2011.
MMA Fighting brought word of the booking earlier today.
Rua (19-5) made his first appearance inside the Octagon against Griffin at UFC 76 back in September 2007, fresh off a knockout win over Alistair Overeem at PRIDE 33. And despite all the hype surrounding his Zuffa debut, the Brazilian went belly up (or belly down in this case) and got choked out by the former "Ultimate Fighter."
Those kinds of things can happen when you compete with a bum knee and a rusty gas tank.
"Shogun" managed to rebound with back-to-back wins over Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell, which at the time was good enough to earn him a title shot against then-champion Lyoto Machida. It took two attempts, but he finally slayed "The Dragon" to claim the promotion's 205-pound title.
Unfortunately his knee required surgery after the win, which gave light heavyweight phenom Jon Jones the chance to pick up steam and never slow down.
On March 19, 2011, "Bones" was breaking the Brazilian in his first fight back in over ten months.
Now that former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans has first dibs on the division title, "Shogun" will have to start from scratch. And what better way to exorcise some of those demons than by avenging his loss to Griffin?
Like Rua, Griffin (18-6) saw his 205-pound belt come and go after Evans planished him at UFC 92 back in 2008. An embarrassing beatdown at the hands of Anderson Silva would soon follow, but since then he's managed to string together a pair of wins over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin.
Defeating "Shogun" for a second time would undoubtedly raise his stock within the division while simultaneously ending any chance of seeing the Brazilian get back in the title hunt.
Who leaves a contender and who leaves a gatekeeper?
We'll find out soon enough.
UFC: "Rio" will mark the promotion's first trip back to Brazil in over a decade as Anderson "The Spider" Silva defends his middleweight title against Yushin "Thunder" Okami.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates to this still-developing fight card.