Shogun Rua reveals scuppered plan for super fight with Fedor Emelianenko: ‘It would have been an honor’

Shogun Rua
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC & Bellator MMA

Brazilian veteran, Shogun Rua has revealed that PRIDE FC officials had attempted to book a super fight between himself and fellow former promotional champion, Fedor Emelianenko during their stints with the now-defunct organization, speaking candidly of the missed-out clash.

Rua, a former PRIDE FC middleweight Grand Prix victor back in 2005, is set to make his expected retirement walk at UFC 283 next month in his native Brazil, taking on light heavyweight prospect, Ihor Potieria. 

As for Emelianenko, the former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion and Grand Prix victor, is scheduled to headline Bellator 290 in February in a heavyweight title rematch with champion, Ryan Bader, in a bout which is also expected to serve as Emelianenko’s swansong in professional mixed martial arts.

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Shogun Rua reveals plans for made for him to fight Fedor Emelianenko

Sharing a story of how he almost fought both Emelianenko and then compatriot, Wanderlei Silva – whom he described as an “idol” during their PRIDE FC tenures, Rua admitted he would have been honored to have competed against the Russian.

“After I won the light heavyweight [Grand Prix] and he (Fedor Emelianenko) won the heavyweight Grand Prix, the promoters started to talk about a super fight, but it never happened,” Shogun Rua told Sherdog. “Coincidentally, I was probably closer to fighting my idol, Wanderlei (Silva) before he lost to Ricardo Arona in the semi finals.”

“It would have been an honor to fight Fedor when we were both in our primes,” Shogun Rua continued. “In my opinion, Fedor is among the three best pound-for-pound fighters ever.” (Transcribed by MMA Mania)

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In 2010, Rua competed for the UFC light heavyweight title in a rematch against compatriot, Lyoto Machida, securing the undisputed crown with a first round knockout win at UFC 113. 

Attempting to snap a two-fight losing skid to both Paul Craig, and Ovince Saint Preux in his Brazil homecoming against Potieria, Rua’s most recent professional win came in the form of a split decision win over Minotouro Nogueira in 2020.