Despite rumors to the contrary, Mauricio Rua will not be facing Chael Sonnen at UFC 161.
With less than two weeks remaining before the June 15 event, the UFC announced on Monday evening that no replacement opponent had been found for the former light heavyweight champion. Instead, Rua will compete on a card “soon,” according to the promotion. “Shogun” was originally scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but “Minotoro” was forced to withdraw from the contest due to a herniated disk.
UFC 161, which takes place at the MTS Center in Winnipeg, moves forward with 11 bouts, although it is currently unclear which fight will be added to the pay-per-view lineup. The event is headlined by a 205-pound scrap between Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson.
Shortly after the news of Nogueira’s injury broke, Sonnen campaigned for an opportunity to face Rua on Twitter, and by Monday, reports surfaced that the Sonnen-Rua matchup was nearly official.
However, shortly after the promotion announced that Rua would not fight at UFC 161 after all, the Brazilian issued this statement via Twitter:
“Tonight I was home with my team studying the fights of my new opponent for UFC 161 when I got the sad news that Chael Sonnen can’t make it to the event. I wish to thank my fans all over the world for all their love and support,” he wrote.
According to various reports, Sonnen apparently had difficulty obtaining a visa to fly to Canada.
Rua last competed at UFC on Fox 5 in December, losing to Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision. The date and opponent for his next fight has yet to be announced.