Chael Sonnen vs. Shogun Rua in the works for UFC 161 on June 15 in Winnipeg


UFC officials today confirmed that a light heavyweight fight between Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio Rua is "being discussed" for UFC 161 on June 15 in Winnipeg.

Just a few hours after former middleweight and light heavyweight number one contender Chael Sonnen tweeted that he was ready, willing and able to fight Mauricio Rua on less than two weeks notice, word comes in today from Brazil's Ivan Raupp that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is considering the 205-pound contest for next week's UFC 161 co-main event.

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said the bout is not confirmed, but is currently "being discussed."

Sonnen (27-13), who benefits from not having to worry about cutting to 185 pounds, would step in for the injured Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (find out what happened here) to battle "Shogun" on June 15, 2013 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

"The American Gangster" could probably use a win to keep pace with his mouth. He was able to talk the talk in his two most recent fights, but failed to walk the walk, coming up empty in consecutive title challenges against Anderson Silva at UFC 148 and then Jon Jones at UFC 159.

In his defense, those are the two best fighters in the world.

Not that it's been all peaches and cream for Rua (21-7). The Brazilian has been unable to win consecutive fights inside the Octagon since knocking out Chuck Liddell back in 2009, a 4-4 record over that span including a recent unanimous decision defeat to budding contender Alexander Gustafsson last December on FOX.

You can argue that Rua would be at a disadvantage, with only a couple of days to transition his training from striker to wrestler, which may nullify all those boxing lessons he received from Freddie Roach (see them here).

Should be interesting, to say the least.

Stay tuned.

UFC 161 will be headlined by a 205-pound contest between division title contenders as former champion Rashad Evans tries to work his way back into "the mix" at the expense of Dan Henderson, while heavyweight knockout artist Roy Nelson makes a quick turnaround to challenge Stipe Miocic.

For all the news and notes on UFC 161 -- and there are aplenty -- check out our comprehensive event archive here.

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