Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has been forced out of his awaited rematch with Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of next Friday’s (September 22, 2017) UFC Fight Night 117 from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, due to injury.
In his place, Japanese middleweight veteran Yushin Okami will step in to face Saint Preux in his home country, commentators Jon Anik, Dominick Cruz, and Paul Felder revealed during the main card of tonight’s (Sat., September 16, 2017) UFC Fight Night 116 from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Former UFC middleweight title challenger Okami has spent the last four years fighting out of the octagon since his knockout loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in September 2013, maintaining mixed results that saw him lose to UFC Fight Night 116 main event fighter David Branch by TKO and former UFC title contender Jon Fitch by decision in World Series of Fighting (WSOF).
But the Japanese wrestling machine has rebounded well as of late, securing four straight wins in Japanese promotions DEEP and Pancrase in addition to WSOF and its new iteration, the Professional Fighter’s League (PFL). He was most recently seen defeating Andre Lobato by decision at July 29’s PFL 2 from Everett, Wash.
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Rua had enjoyed a slight late-career renaissance with three straight wins over Gian Villante, Corey Anderson, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but his comeback will apparently have to wait for now.