In a blog posting he made today on ESPN.com, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua spoke for the first time about what he feels led to him losing his belt to Jon Jones at UFC 128 in March.
In spite of insinuations that his knee was bothering him and that he didn’t train properly for the bout as he seemed out of shape, Rua says it was simply a case of having a bad night and the fight not going his way.
“Really, in the Jones fight, what happened was I got hurt early on and I was having some trouble finding the right distance in the fight. I was also getting tired, and throwing leg kicks spends a lot of energy which is why I didn’t throw so many of them, and there was also the risk of being taken down; it was a combination of factors which stopped me from performing at my best,” he explained. “But whatever I did wrong in training for that fight, it doesn’t take Jones’s merits away and he was the better fighter that night. Some people think I was out of shape and are worried about my knees still being hurt after I had so much trouble with them. That isn’t the case — there’s nothing wrong with my knees, and they were 100 percent ready for that fight, as it was all cleared by the doctor. We made the biggest effort in doing my rehab as perfectly as possible and the UFC was kind enough to let me come back on a date that was proper to do it, according to the doctors. I have no injury excuses.”
He ponts out that it’s rare to go into a fight without any lingering injuries, no matter how minor, but says that heading into his UFC 134 bout with Forrest Griffin on August 27, he feels like he is 100 percent.
“As a professional fighter, you always have some injuries, even if they are minor. It’s impossible, or very rare, to go through a camp without any pain. Right now I’m 100 percent, without any injuries and ready to go, but we always have to work around pain and work around injuries, and as a fighter you are always trying to make the best of it.”