Shogun Apologizes For Pulling Out Of Saint Preux Fight

Former UFC light heavyweight champion, Mauricio Rua, less than one week from his UFC Fight Night 117 main event rematch against Ovince Saint Preux, had to withdraw from competition. The fight scheduled for this Friday in Saitama, Japan was called off due to the man known as “Shogun” suffering a knee injury that would prevent him from fighting, adding to the laundry list of injuries that have haunted the former champion over the past few years.

Rua took to his official Instagram page to offer an apology.

Fighting has been my life for over 15 years. It’s what I chose for myself and what I love to do. For me it’s very hard to pull out of a fight, very hard, and accepting that was the only viable alternative wasn’t easy at all. Unfortunately, early in this camp, I hurt my knee. I spent the entire camp doing everything in my power so I could fight on September 23 (22 in Brazil), and I trained the entire time under medicine, protection in my knee, ice and physical therapy. I went beyond my limit because fighting in Japan again is something I’d been dreaming of for a long time, because I didn’t want to let the fans down, and because that’s how I was raised in martial arts by my master

I’ve stepped up to fight injured multiple times in my career, and it wasn’t for lack of effort or trying. But, unfortunately, all this effort ended up making the injuries worse, and there came a time when my team and I had to accept there were no alternatives, and I had to pull out of the fight. It wasn’t easy. I’d like to apologize to my opponent I’ve been in the same situation, including when we fought the first time, and I knew it’s never easy. And, mainly, apologize to the fans, especially those who were anxiously awaiting this fight. I will take care of my recovery now, heal my injuries and come back stronger. Challenges are put in front of us every day, and what really matters is how we face them. Thank you all for the kindness.

After Rua was benched, the promotion asked hometown hero and former UFC middleweight No. 1 contender Yushin Okami to step in on short notice, which keeps “OSP” atop the Friday night headliner.

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