Ovince Saint Preux has a new opponent for UFC Japan, and his original foe explained why he won’t be able to compete Saturday in Saitama.
Mauricio Rua was scheduled to rematch OSP at the Saitama Super Arena, but was forced out of the five-round bout due to a knee injury. On his social media, “Shogun" revealed that he was dealing with an injury since he started his camp, but tried to fight through it.
Rua, who has suffered many knee injuries in the past, was looking to avenge his last loss in the UFC, a sub-minute knockout defeat in Brazil. Since that bout, the former PRIDE and UFC champion scored three straight wins. With Rua out of the event, St. Preux now faces Yushin Okami.
Check "Shogun's" full statement below.
Fighting has been my life for more than 15 years. It's what I have chosen for myself, and what I love to do. For me it's really hard to have to step out of a fight, really difficult, and to accept that this was the only viable alternative wasn't easy at all. Unfortunately, still early in this camp, I injured my knee.
I spent all Camp doing all within my reach to be able to fight on September 23rd, trained the whole time under medication, protection in my knee, ice and physical therapy. I went beyond my limit because fighting in Japan again is something I have been dreaming about for a long time, because I didn't want to disappoint the fans, and because I was raised this way in martial arts by my master.
I already stepped up to fight injured many times in my career, and there's wasn't a lack of effort or trying this time as well. But unfortunately all the effort just ended up aggravating the injuries, and we got to a point where my team and I had to accept that there wasn't any alternatives anymore and I had to pull out of the fight. It wasn't easy.I want to apologize to my opponent, I have been in the same situation when we faced each other for the first time and I know it's never easy, and most of all apologize to the public, specially those who were anxiously waiting for this fight.
I'll take care of my recovery now, heal my injuries and comeback stronger. Challenges are put in front of us everyday, and what really matter is how we face them.
Thank you all for the support.