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Rua's da man? 'Shogun vs Rampage 2' in the works says former GP champ

rampage vs shogun ufc
Get ready for Japan's biggest rematch since Yuko Matsumiya out-winded Atsushi Fujita at last year's 61st annual Fukuoka Marathon, which ironically, was the inspiration for the name of the UFC's buyout of PRIDE now known as Fukuova.

"It was a business decision to kill PRIDE," according to UFC President Dana White in a recent interview.

But if comments made by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (16-3) at a recent training seminar are any indication, PRIDE may in fact live again.

At least for one night in December.

Rua, winner of the PRIDE 2005 middleweight grand prix, informed a very unsuspecting but grateful crowd that he was indeed anticipating a December return and hopeful that his opponent would be former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (28-7) -- not Mark Coleman as previously reported.

The same Quinton Jackson who was knocked out in devastating fashion by Rua at PRIDE Total Elimination 2005.

Or perhaps it isn't the same Quinton Jackson, which is why the prospect of a rematch has so many fans buzzing, despite the fact that negotiations are still in their infancy.

After all, a lot has happened in three years.

Rampage would be victorious in his next six fights following the Rua defeat, including wins over top ten fighters Matt Lindland, Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson.

Some fans would call it seven straight, overlooking the questionable judging in his decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86.

In spite of that loss, it's not outrageous to call Jackson a more evolved and complete fighter than the free-swinging showman from 2005.

And still one of the world's best at 205 lbs.

But that claim may not hold water for Rua, also a victim of the spoiler Griffin. Not only was Shogun defeated, he was outworked and eventually submitted by the TUF alum in an uninspiring debut at UFC 76 that left many wondering what happened to the Shogun of old.

The Shogun that went 16-2 in PRIDE with 13 (T)KO's to his credit.

After the loss, Rua was slated to face Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell at UFC 85 until a torn ACL sidelined the Brazilian for several months.

Now the former Chute Box pillar will get another crack at victory in the UFC if both sides are able to come together. Assuming that each combatant remains healthy, the only possible roadblock would be Jackson's potential legal repercussions stemming from his recent brush with the law.

Hopefully that situation resolves itself without impacting Jackson's career. This fight would not only be exciting, but it would also go a long way in re-establishing the credibility of Rua for newer fans.

Shogun may have a record that speaks for itself, but he still has a lot to prove in the eyes of many UFC fans - namely that he'll be able to make the transition from the ring to the Octagon.

Something fellow PRIDE import Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic never could.

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