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Shogun Rua eyes spot in upcoming Japan card, wishes for OSP rematch

Mauricio Rua would like to fight in Japan again, for old time's sake, and to rematch the man who knocked him out in 34 seconds - Ovince Saint Preux.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Rua vs Villante
Mauricio Rua
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Riding his first ever three-fight win streak in the UFC, Mauricio Rua would like to make it four in a row in the land that made him a star back in the Pride days. And to make it even more perfect, he would also like to rematch Ovince Saint Preux, who knocked him out in 34 seconds when they first met in Brazil.

"I fought in March. I spoke to my team and we would like to come back in September." Rua told Combate. "There's a Japan card coming up and I have a lot of love for that country and its people. I think it would be nice to fight there again. My focus is to be there for the main or co-main event spot, it doesn't matter. What matters the most is to be on that card. I have great memories of Japan. The energy there is good. If it all works out, I'll fight at the Saitama Super Arena, where I was world champion. It's a place of good memories and good energy."

"I have a lot of respect for (Ovince) Saint Preux, who's a guy that beat me. It's a fight I would like to do again. Maybe I'll fight him in Japan? I'm available for him. I don't really think too much about where I am in the division. We'll have (Daniel) Cormier fighting Jon Jones, and there's (Alexander) Gustafsson, who I think is up next for a title shot. Then there's Manuwa, who fights in July.

“I prefer to think about one fight at a time. If I think about what comes after, I don't focus on the fight at hand. I talk from experience. I know that because I'm a former champion who's been around for so many years = the title shot can come sooner than I imagine. If it does, I'll be super happy. I see each fight as a dream. The belt is my greatest dream."

Mauricio Rua knocked out Gian Villante in his last outing in March. Before that, he defeated both Corey Anderson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by decision. His last loss was the KO suffered by the hands of OSP in November 2014.