Ultimately, the result of Saturday's rematch was the same as the first, as Rua (23-10) edged Nogueira via unanimous decision. All three scorecards read in Rua's favor, 29-28.
The light heavyweight bout co-headlined UFC 190 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. Rua, 33, who defeated Nogueira (21-7) under the Pride banner in June 2005, snapped a two-fight skid with the victory.
Rua did a terrific job dictating the pace of the fight, but nearly went down from a left hand to the temple late in the first round. The former UFC and Pride champion tried to back up to recover, but his knees buckled and Nogueira closed hard, looking for a finish.
With Rua trapped on the fence, Nogueira unloaded a flurry of punches, intelligently ducking under defensive counters by Rua. At one point, Rua attempted to circle off the fence, but nearly fell over in the process. He refused to go down, however, and connected a knee to Nogueira's chin that finally backed him off.
Rua retook control of the fight in the second round, securing an early single leg takedown. He lost top position attempting to move to full mount, but continued to win the round with nasty kicks to the body.
Nogueira came out aggressive in the third, but Rua stayed one step ahead. He ate several straight lefts, but was never placed in trouble again. The right kicks to the body continued to pile up. In the final minute, Rua went for a takedown and Nogueira attempted a last ditch effort for a guillotine. The choke appeared close for a second, but Rua eventually cleared his head.
Rua, 33, reunited with former striking coach Rafael Cordeiro in southern California prior to the bout. He is now 2-4 in his last six fights.
Struve denies Nogueira; earns unanimous decision
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira refused to back down, but couldn't turn back the clock one more time in Rio de Janeiro.
Nogueira (34-10-1) fought admirably against Stefan Struve, who is 12 years younger, but lost convincingly. All three judges scored the heavyweight bout 30-27 for Struve (26-7).
The loss is Nogueira's third in a row. The 39-year-old has just two wins since August 2009, both of which came in Rio de Janeiro.
"I know you wanted your hero to win," Struve told the Brazilian crowd. "Obviously, I couldn't let that happen but I respect him as much as you guys. It was great to have the opportunity to fight against your idol.
"[Nogueira is] not normal; I threw everything I got at him and he didn't go down. I was sick three hours before the fight, throwing up, dehydrated; so my cardio wasn´t good."
Nogueira more than earned Struve's respect once the fight began. He marched forward basically the entire 15 minutes, landing occasional right hands and taking Struve's back at one point in the second round.
It was Struve who controlled the majority of the bout, however, defending all but one of Nogueira's constant attempts to take him to the ground. He wobbled Nogueira with the first right hand he threw and slowed him down with repeated front kicks to the midsection.
Outside leg kicks started to pile up for Struve in the third, turning Nogueira into an easy target late. Struve started to snap his head back with the jab. According to Fightmetric, Struve out-landed Nogueira in total strikes 94-to-84.
Struve, who fights out of Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Florida, wins for the first time since a second-round stoppage over Stipe Miocic in September 2012.
Bigfoot pummels Palelei with uppercuts
Antonio Silva snapped an ugly two-fight losing streak, knocking out Soa Palelei with uppercuts 41 seconds into the second round.
"Bigfoot" (18-8-1) earned his first win since a stunning knockout over Alistair Overeem in February 2013. The Brazilian heavyweight fought four times since that victory, compiling a 0-3-1 record.
"I was on a bad streak," Silva said. "I came from two losses. I wanted to reward the crowd with a win. I'm back with all I've got."
Palelei (22-5) came close to extending Silva's skid, as he threw Silva to the floor late in the first round and went to work with hammerfists. Silva appeared close to going out several times, but referee John McCarthy gave him a chance to recover and he managed to survive to the bell.
That sequence was easily the most action of the opening round. Palelei shot for an early takedown and ultimately held Silva against the fence for some time when he couldn't convert. Palelei kept Silva on the end of his jab on the feet, until Silva closed distance and worked a few knees to Palelei's thighs from the clinch.
Action picked up quick in the second round, as Silva stiffened Palelei with a right uppercut. Palelei retreated to the fence, where Silva held him in place and delivered crippling uppercuts and knees. Palelei eventually turtled from the offense and McCarthy called a quick finish.
Silva moves to 3-4-1 in the UFC. Palelei, who fights out of American Kickboxing Academy Thailand, suffers the second knockout loss of his career.
Gadelha roughs up Aguilar; calls out Jedrzejczyk
Gadelha (13-1) torched Aguilar on the feet, out-landing her in total strikes 135-to-101 in a unanimous decision. All three judges scored the strawweight fight a shutout for Gadelha, 30-27.
The win all but guarantees a second fight between defending champion Jedrzejczyk (10-0) and Gadelha. The two fought in December, with Jedrzejczyk squeaking out a split decision.
"Dana White, make my title shot happen," Gadelha said. "I am the best in the world and I'm going to prove that. I'm going to keep getting better and better. I'm here to kick ass. This fight has to happen."
Aguilar (19-5), widely considered the best strawweight in the world for years, struggled to match Gadelha's speed and pressure on the feet. She shot in well on several takedown attempts, but never came close to putting Gadelha on her back. She bled badly from the nose after the first round, which only worsened as the fight continued.
Gadelha's popped Aguilar's head back with jabs all night and followed frequently with the right hand. She hurt her with an overhand right moments into the second round and occasionally switched things up, scoring 4-of-4 takedown attempts, usually in the end of the round.
In the third, Aguilar mounted somewhat of a comeback as she targeted Gadelha's lead leg with outside kicks. The kicks visibly bothered Gadelha and had her limping later in the round, but it was too little too late, and Gadelha answered with punches and a late takedown to seal the round.
Jedrzejczyk has been dominant in two appearances since defeating Gadelha, lifting the title from Carla Esparza in a knockout win in March. She recorded her first title defense in June, knocking out Jessica Penne late in the third round. Aguilar, 33, suffers her first loss since September 2010.
Maia submits Magny in Round 2
Maia (21-6) thoroughly dominated Magny en route to a second-round submission, his seventh in the UFC. The finish came via rear-naked choke at the 2:52 mark.
"Magny wouldn't give me his back, but I could take him, even though he's a really tough fighter with a really hard neck," Maia said. "I'm happy with my victory. Every fighter has an objective, but my mission is to spread Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
"I love fighting in Rio; here I am home. I feel better here than in my hometown, São Paulo."
A former middleweight now fighting in the welterweight division, Maia took Magny (15-4) down in the opening 10 seconds of the first and second rounds. Magny did reasonably well defending himself from the bottom, but never came close to escaping back to his feet. Maia moved into full mount several times and finished the opening round in an armbar attempt.
Following the first break, Magny came out throwing punches but left himself open to a single leg takedown. Maia's grappling was simply too much for the former TUF contestant, as he once again moved to full mount and eventually to Magny's back. It is the third submission loss of the Denver-based Magny's career.
Maia extends his current win streak to three. He is 6-2 since dropping to the 170-pound division in 2012. He challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title in 2010, losing via unanimous decision.