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Mauricio


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The much-anticipated UFC debut of Mauricio ?Shogun? Rua (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will most likely be against Forrest Griffin (14-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) ? not Loyoto Machida, as the UFC first announced ?at the upcoming UFC 76 show in September.

That?s the word from a source close to Griffin who spoke to UFCjunkie.com (www.ufcjunkie.com) earlier today.

The news of the possible opponent switch has been the worst-kept secret in MMA. Rumors of the substitution first surfaced over the weekend, and the report gained additional steam when Frank Trigg mentioned the Rua-Griffin bout on his Internet show, Tagg Radio, Tuesday afternoon.

UFCjunkie.com has been unable to get definitive confirmation of the bout, but we?re told that the fight has been presented to Griffin and that he had no reservations about taking it. Paperwork and a couple signatures are now believed to be the only things holding up the official announcement from the UFC.

UFC 76 takes place Sept. 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. As UFCjunkie.com first announced, former UFC champion Chuck Liddell and Keith Jardine are also scheduled to fight at the event.

The 25-year-old Rua, one of the world?s top-ranked 205-pound fighters, has won 12 of his past 13 fights ? nine of which came via knockout or technical knockout. PRIDE?s 2005 Grand Prix Tournament winner had fought for the Japanese-based fight organization since October 2003 and racked up victories over such notables as current UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson, Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

Griffin, the light heavyweight winner from The Ultimate Fighter 1, suffered a tough first-round TKO to Keith Jardine at UFC 66 before bouncing back with a unanimous-decision victory over Hector Ramirez at UFC 72. For more about that fight and his current training schedule, check out the recent transcript of Forrest Griffin?s online chat that was hosted by UFCjunkie.com and site sponsor Mickey?s.

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I hope this is true because it is about time that they gave a big name star a debut against a decent opponent, as opposed to a "possible" easy win. Although it hasn't been that way the last few times!

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I hope this is true because it is about time that they gave a big name star a debut against a decent opponent, as opposed to a "possible" easy win. Although it hasn't been that way the last few times!

Yeah I like massive showdowns for first fights because lets face it if they are proven then they won't mind a top opening fight :D

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