Two separate reports from Tatame.com and TaggRadio.com today indicate that Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will make his Octagon debut against Forrest Griffin -- not Ryoto Machida -- at UFC 76 on September 22.
This latest news contradicts recent statements from UFC President Dana White on ESPN and right here that Shogun and Machida were booked to face one another at the Anaheim, Calif., show.
Here's the snip from Tatame:
"Master Rudimar Fedrigo confirmed us that Mauricio Shogun will face Forrest Griffin at UFC 76, that is schedule for September 22 ...."
Fedrigo is the founder of the famed Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil, of which Shogun is one of its most talented products.
Here's a snip attributed to Fedrigo:
"We went specially to Las Vegas to sign the contract for four fights and to record the videos for before the fight."
This is a rather bizarre development, considering major mainstream media outlets were even reporting the Shogun-Machida showdown.
Either this is somehow one big misunderstanding or the Machida deal fell through. Or, Machida has been injured training for the bout.
Sorry to dangle a big question mark over yet another UFC 76 fight, but it seems as if something might be going on behind the scenes.
Stay tuned ... this could turn out to be just another false alarm.
Note: If this is the case, and Shogun is not fighting Machida as planned, it will beg the question: Why not Chuck Liddell vs. Shogun Rua? Now that's a fight.