Sonnen-Shogun off due to visa issues

Published on Monday, 6/3/13, at 1:55 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Tuesday, 6/4/13, at 12:21 a.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Update: Although Chael Sonnen was game to go on short notice, he won’t face Shogun Rua at UFC 161 in Winnipeg due to visa issues. Rua has been removed from the card, but these light heavyweights might meet at UFC on Fox Sports 1 in Boston.  

According to a report out of Brazil from the same reporter (Ivan Raupp) that broke the news about Lil Nog’s injury yesterday, Chael Sonnen will step in to face Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 161 next weekend.

However, Yahoo’s Kevin Iole tweeted that in a conversation with UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta, nothing was confirmed yet but “we are having that conversation” [about Sonnen vs. Shogun].

Sonnen would be taking the fight on only 12 days notice. Sonnen has lost back-to-back fights but those defeats came at the hands of perhaps the two best mixed martial artists to ever live, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.

This isn’t the first time Sonnen has volunteered his services to help bail out the promotion. When Dan Henderson had to pull out of his title fight with Jones last summer, Sonnen offered to fight Jones on nine days of notice.

Jones ended up turning down the fight with Sonnen, but they met in April with Jones winning decisively by first-round KO.

In other UFC news, Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida will meet Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis at UFC 163 in Brazil. Also, the UFC is looking into hosting an outdoor event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway later in the year.

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