Pride FC veteran and former Elite XC Middleweight Champion, Murilo “Ninja” Rua (16-9-1) will reportedly be fighting on the upcoming DREAM 8 card on April 5th in Nagoya, Japan.
“Ninja’s” last bout was at Elite XC: Heat and was broadcast live on CBS in October ’08. His opponent was Benji Radach. “Ninja” ended up losing the bout by TKO due to punches in round two. Also appearing on the card was the infamous Kimbo Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli fight.
Incidentally, “Ninja’s” last bout with Elite XC was the last time they ever aired on network television and a little over two weeks later the promotion ceased operations.
After months of deliberation and negotiation, much of Elite XC’s assets and fighter contracts were purchased by the San Jose based MMA promotion, Strikeforce. Murilo “Ninja” Rua’s contract was not included in the Strikeforce acquisition.
Instead, the Curitiba, Brazil born, Chute Boxe trained brother of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will do his fighting in Japan under the DRREAM banner. “Ninja” recently told Portal das Lutas, “I fight April 5 in Japan and I’m doing my final preparations here. I’m going to Curitiba Saturday and I’ll be back in training Monday. I’m going to fight at Dream against a Korean.”
“Ninja’s” opponent for the April 5th bout is said to be Korean, but the identity of the fighter has not yet been named. The length of Rua’s DREAM contract is also not known at this time.
While “Ninja” and “Shogun” are in Sao Paulo training for their respective fights, “Ninja” had a few words to say about his brother’s upcoming bout with Chuck Liddell at UFC 97, “I’m certain my brother is going to win this fight, he’s very talented and in great shape. He will get a title shot soon, you’ll see. He’s really quick, training a lot here in Sao Paulo and will put on a show, I’m sure of it.”
By: Jack Bratcher