Oregon’s Chael Sonnen (27-13-1) – known to UFC fans as The American Gangster – will bow out of the Light Heavyweight division with defeat when he faces Brazil’s Mauricio Rua (21-7 -0) later this month.
Rua takes on Sonnen on August 18th and the former Light Heavyweight Champion will be keen to register what would be a popular win over the trash-talking Sonnen in Shogun’s home country.
However, Rua will not take the Sonnen challenge lightly – the 36-year-old may have lost his last two fights but there is no shame in failing to overcome Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.
Sonnen is an accomplished fighter but his skills in the Octagon have never quite matched up to his talk outside of it and this will only boost the confidence of the hard-hitting Brazilian.
Rua has won some 18 of 21 victories by way of knockout, while Sonnen has just seven KOs to his name.
With a wrestling background many would expect Sonnen to boast a high number of submissions but in fact the southpaw has won just four bouts by this method and has been taken the distance 17 times.
Sonnen will be confident he can edge any bout that goes the distance – having won on 16 of those 17 occasions – but having lost by way of TKO in his last two fights, it is debatable whether it will last that long.
Rua – the younger man by five years – boasts a two-inch reach advantage and will try to work from the outside in order to claim KO number 19 – but at odds of 11/10 the Brazilian is billed as the slight outsider.
However, Rua has never lost two in a row and after tasting defeat against Alexander Gustafsson last time out will be desperate to secure victory.
Sonnen is the favourite at 4/6 but with three defeats in his last five bouts taking their toll, he looks set to bow out of the division with a whimper rather than a crash.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing