A light heavyweight clash pitting Rashad Evans against Mauricio Rua is expected to take place at UFC on Fox 19 on April 16.
Brazilian media outlet Combate first reported that both fighters have agreed to the matchup, and the bout was later confirmed by MMAFighting.com. The Las Vegas-based promotion has yet to formally announce the pairing or the event, which is rumored to take place in Tampa, Fla., at an undetermined venue.
Evans was originally supposed to face Rua for the 205-pound belt at UFC 128 in March 2011 until “Suga” had to withdraw from the contest due to a knee injury. Jon Jones, Evans’ Jackson-Wink MMA teammate at the time, stepped in and defeated “Shogun” to become the youngest champion in UFC history. That ultimately led to Evans leaving the Albuquerque, N.M.-based camp for the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Fla.
After being sidelined for nearly two years, Evans returned to active competition at UFC 192 this past October, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Ryan Bader in Houston. The 36-year-old Evans is 14-4-1 in the Octagon and owns notable triumphs over the likes of Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Phil Davis, Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson, Chuck Liddell and Michael Bisping, to name a few.
Rua, meanwhile, is coming off a three-round verdict over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 190 last August. The former Pride Fighting Championships star hasn’t won consecutive fights since 2009 and has lost four of his last six bouts overall. Over the course of his UFC tenure he has scored victories against opponents such as Forrest Griffin, Lyoto Machida, Brandon Vera, Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman.