Mauricio

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

COSTA MESA, Calif. – Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Forrest Griffin are destined to dance a second time at UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami, an event also known as UFC: Rio due to its venue in Brazil.

The light heavyweights first faced each other in 2007 at UFC 76: Knockout. It ended with Griffin getting the submission win over an exhausted Shogun. MMA fans that followed him up to that point weren’t familiar with what they saw in the Octagon that night.

After the loss to Griffin – which also happened to be Rua’s UFC debut – many wondered if the fierce and ferocious “Shogun” they saw destroy opposition in Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships would have the same impact in the Las Vegas-based UFC as he did in the Far East.  His performance in his new surroundings was nothing more than underwhelming. It left doubt in the hearts of Pride loyalists, and even more so, casual fans that were just being introduced to the young Brazilian.

Rua’s debut under the UFC’s banner, although it was expected with Pride’s purchase by the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa, may have come sooner than what was appropriate.  Perhaps the eager 205-pound fighter should have waited a bit to allow a recent knee surgery to heal properly.

According to his head coach, Rafael Cordiero, the result of taking the fight when he did was a drop in the amount of time put in towards training for it.

“When he fought the first time with Forrest, he came from the (knee) surgery,” Cordiero told MMAWeekly.com.  “He didn’t train a lot for the first fight.  It’s no excuse, but now, what he’s going to do is different.  He (doesn’t) have any injury.  He’s ready for the fight.

“He going to offer Forrest one better fighter.”

Since dropping his debut to Griffin, this is the second time Rua has been under the tutelage of Cordiero.  A few months after the loss, he left the Chute Boxe Academy in Curitiba, Brazil, wherein Cordiero was coach, to open up his own school, Universidade da Luta – which in English means University of Fighting.

But to prepare for the second going with Griffin, Rua moved himself and his family to Southern California to train at Kings MMA with Cordiero.  The reunion of teacher and pupil has lasted for three months and made the former light heavyweight champion very happy.  The two will continue to prepare until Rua and Cordiero move camp back down to Brazil to adjust to the time change and environment for UFC 134.

“I have Master Rafael (back) together with me and he’s my MMA coach,” Rua said to MMAWeekly.com.  “I’m very happy because, for a long time, I haven’t had an MMA coach.

“I’m happy because I’m here, I’m focused 100 percent on my fight and I go back to Brazil next week.”

It may sound cliché, but Rua believes the rematch with Griffin will be entirely different than their first encounter.  At this point, Rua has much more Octagon experience than he did the last time.  Add on a UFC championship to the experienced gained and one can make the argument that it is, indeed, much different than it was the first time around.

As far as training goes, Rua is sparring with partners in Cordiero’s gym at near 100-percent speed.  The high level of preparation showed in the gym gives the image that injuries may not affect Shogun leading into his UFC 134 bout.

The 2005 Pride middleweight tournament champion doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all when anticipating his upcoming fight.

“I have respect for Forrest.  He’s a good fighter,” Rua said.  “I (fought him) first in the UFC.  (And) for me, everything was different because every time I (fought), it was in a ring. For me, it was very different.  Now, I’m ready for a fight (in the Octagon) and (in) this fight, I’m 100-percent.

“I’m ready for everything, whatever way I win, I’ll be very happy.”

As the days to fight night continue count down, Shogun is planning to avenge a loss that many picked him to win.  By returning to absorb the teachings of his old Chute Boxe coach, and gaining a renewed focus after losing his light heavyweight title to current champion Jon Jones, Rua is improving every day he is in the gym.  The training partners he works with have provided him with the tools necessary to prep his body for the bout.  The connection they all have is second to none and contributes to Rua’s motivation to perform well and be victorious on Aug. 27.

But while the physical part is covered by Rua’s sparring partners, the mental portion belongs to his coach, Cordiero.

“Every day, I see a different Shogun,” Cordiero said about his fighter.  “He (trains) with great motivation because he trains with his old partners for the fight.  It’s important he trains with guys (with which) he has a good connection.

“I want to prepare his mind for war.  The (training) partners help his body. I want prepare his mind for war.”

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Erik Fontanez is a staff writer for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@Erik_Fontanez on Twitter or e-mail Erik a question or comment.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Thomas Almeida's Chute Boxe coach says 'there's no hurry' to develop their prospect

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

Diego Lima, Thomas Almeida's coach at the legendary Chute Boxe gym sees no need to rush their athlete to the top of the division, but says they will train even harder now that Almeida is getting noti read news >>

Ovince Saint Preux prepared to take advantage of UFC's wide-open 205-pound division

  • 20 days ago
  • 9 views

Jon Jones’ indefinite suspension and vacancy of the UFC’s light heavyweight title is a negative story. But the fallout has brought positive opportunities to other fighters, and Ovince Saint Preux wan read news >>

Coach: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s knee injury was a ‘freak accident’

  • 20 days ago
  • 13 views

AKA owner and head coach Javier Mendez explains how Khabib Nurmagomedov’s injury came about. read news >>

Javier Mendez calls Khabib Nurmagomedov's injury a 'freak accident'

  • 21 days ago
  • 14 views

American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) owner and head coach Javier Mendez spoke to SB Nation on Thursday about the future of Luke Rockold and Chris Weidman, Daniel Cormier's chances against Anthony Johnso read news >>

Blackzilians' key to success? 'We beat each other up in a healthy way'

  • 22 days ago
  • 6 views

Next month’s UFC 187 event could prove to be a huge moment in the history of the Blackzilians team, as the squad could potentially pick up a pair of UFC titles on the same night. So what is the key t read news >>

TUF Brazil 4 Coach Profile - Minotauro Nogueira

  • 25 days ago
  • 18 views

After two stints coaching on The Ultimate Fighter, Brazilian MMA icon Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira probably thought that his days on reality television were over. But when fellow icon Anderso read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4: Episode 4 Recap

  • 25 days ago
  • 7 views

In the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4, one team is still in shock over losing their coach just days into filming the show, while the other side of the competition spends a day on the read news >>

UFC champ Cain Velasquez on training: Most prepared 'when I actually fight for a fight'

  • 24 days ago
  • 22 views

The best, top-ranked heavyweight in MMA soon returns to the cage for the first time since 2013. And though he’s tweaked the way he prepares for a fight, he’s said he’s still not changing the fundamen read news >>

Matt Hume: Demetrious Johnson won't compromise who he is

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

MONTREAL – One person who is invested in the slow-to-catch on Demetrious Johnson mythos is his coach, Matt Hume, who has been with "Mighty Mouse" since day one. Hume, who runs the AMC Kickboxing and read news >>