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‘Shogun’ Rua expects Ovince St. Preux to lay and pray at UFC Fight Night 56

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

UBERLANDIA, Brazil -- Ovince Saint Preux won’t engage in a slugfest with Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 56, and "Shogun" kind of expected that.

St. Preux, who accepted to replace Jimi Manuwa on days’ notice, plans to fight intelligently and gas the Brazilian striker before going for submissions on Saturday night’s UFC card in Uberlandia, Brazil. Rua plans to counter it with his muay thai skills.

"He always tries to go for the ground and pound, but I trained for every situation," Rua told the media in Uberlandia. "He may try to lay and pray, hold me on the ground, but I have trained this with my team."

Rua wasn’t the only one who had to deal with constant changes at UFC Fight Night 56, though.

Originally scheduled to meet former Strikeforce champion Rafael Cavalcante, OSP saw himself matched against Francimar Barroso when "Feijao" pulled out with an injury. When the UFC removed Manuwa from the main event due to an injury, OSP was named "Shogun’s" next opponent.

"We never considered not taking the fight," Rua said. "It’s not the UFC’s fault and fans want to see a fight. It happens. Injuries are inevitable. I tried to change my training, adapt myself (to St. Preux’s game), and I believe I’ll be ready for him."

Manuwa and St. Preux are completely different fighters, and "Shogun" had to change his entire game plan in 10 days.

"We have a lot of great fighters at the gym, I had a sparring who fights exactly like St. Preux," Rua said. "I don’t believe anyone will be in advantage on Saturday night because of the opponent’s change, since he also had his opponent changed twice. I had one week to adapt."