Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua Signs with the UFC..

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It was announced on the "Beatdown" radio show on by writer Josh Gross that Chute Boxe stand-out Mauricio "Shogun" Rua has signed a new unique fight contract.

In what has to be considered another sign that there is a deal between DSE (Dreamstage Entertainment) and the Fertitta brothers (Frank and Lorenzo, UFC owners) involving the future of PRIDE, Shogun signed a new contract that calls for two fights under the PRIDE banner, and two for the UFC.

Nothing much other than that was mentioned, but that's another huge coup for the UFC if true. Not only do they have Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and "Lyoto" Ryoto Machida to spice up their Light Heavyweight division, with Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine rising up the ranks and now Mauricio "Shogun" Rua added to the mix, Chuck Liddell's future just got a lot busier.

Holy hell, UFC now officially has the BEST lightheavyweight division in the world.

This is unreal. I cant wait to see him fight..

If you want to learn more about him click here.

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A few conflicting reports, as it hasnt been officially announced yet..

While on Wrestling Observer?s Web site today, I noticed Dave Meltzer pulled out an interesting tidbit first reported by Josh Gross.

Apparently, PRIDE superstar Mauricio ?Shogun? Rua (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has signed an interesting contract that calls for him to fight twice in PRIDE and twice in the UFC.

How is that even possible?

Rumors from earlier this week about the possible sale of PRIDE may have something to do with it.

From Wrestling Observer:

It was reported today by Josh Gross that Mauricio Shogun Rua had signed a unique contract with two fights in Pride and two fights in UFC. If this is accurate, that would certainly seem to indicate a deal with both under the same umbrella would have been completed.

If true, that means the Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, the majority owners of the UFC, are wasting no time getting at least one PRIDE fighter signed and secured for the near future. Surely the value in purchasing the rival PRIDE organization rests largely with its stable of world-class fighters.

Rua, PRIDE?S 2005 Grand Priz winner, is one of the world?s top-ranked light heavyweights. The Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert has posted wins over notables including Quinton ?Rampage? Jackson, Kevin Randleman, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alistair Overeem.

Rua, fairly small for a light heavyweight (205 pounds), could likely drop to the UFC?s middleweight division (185 pounds) with few problems. The 25-year-old would become a serious contender in either weight class.

Despite this credible report, it?s worth nothing that neither the UFC nor PRIDE has made an official announcement about the reported contract.

* * * *

UPDATE: The following bulletin appeared on this afternoon:

After a brief telephone conversation with Mauricio ?Shogun? Rua today, we can inform you that he has denied all rumors that he has signed with the UFC and confirmed to All About MMA?s Brazilian correspondent that he instead took advantage of Pride President Nobuhiko Sakakibara?s visit to Curitiba and has in fact signed a new four fight deal with Pride.

This obviously contradicts the report from Gross, but if PRIDE is sold as has been rumored, the point is basically moot. Still, though, should PRIDE stick with its current ownership group or be sold to another one without UFC ties, the organization just locked up one of its best fighters.

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