One of Kharitonov‘s best performances, from PRIDE Total Elimination in April 2004. What was expected to be mainly a grappling match between Sergei and Ninja turned into a wild slugfest, with both fighters throwing leather until Rua’s legs give out at the 1:58 mark. (Also check out Kharitonov’s butter-smooth judo toss at 0:50.) We can’t wait until this dude steps into the ring with Mirko…
“Don’t call it a comeback! No seriously, don’t – I plan on pulling out of my next fight.”
Not to be outdone by One FC, last night’s hilariously named Best of the Best event in Belem, Brazil saw Murilo Rua and Paulo Filho come out of retirement for a pointless, irrelevant rematch. On paper, it’s pretty sad and kind of scary to see Murilo Rua, who looked completely washed up in his retirement fight against Tom Watson at last year’s BAMMA 6, step in the cage for one final fight. But his opponent is Paulo Filho, so it’ll be a small miracle if the troubled Rohypnol loving Brazilian even shows up, yet alone shows up in shape and ready to fight, right? Things can’t get too ugly for Ninja, can they?
Dude…you have no idea. Rua manages to do dick before getting tagged repeatedly by Filho’s sloppy haymakers, which were eerily reminiscent of this. The fight is mercifully stopped just forty eight seconds in, yet the internet is still crying early stoppage. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m okay with letting this one end while Ninja can still brush his teeth without assistance.
"We’re very excited to add a fighter of Murilo’s caliber to our first show in Nova Scotia. I’m really proud of how this card is shaping up," Bateman says. "Our fans in are in for a treat. Ninja is one of the fighters I’ve always enjoyed watching as a fan and we couldn’t be more excited to have him fight for W-1."
Ninja’s opponent on the October 23 card will be underrated Team Cesar Gracie protegee Roy Boughton who sent shockwaves through the Canadian MMA scene in June when he submitted highly-touted Toronto-based grappling phenom Misha Cirkunov at W-1: Judgement Day.
Although terms of the 30-year-old Brazilian’s contract were not disclosed, sources close to Rua revealed that the former Chuteboxe fighter is one win away from signing with the UFC, so his stay with W-1 could be short-lived if he can get past Boughton.
The men who should be facing the wrath of those who felt Rua had won should not be Hamilton, Peoples and Rosales, who rendered their opinions in a very technical, taut affair. Rather, Rua supporters should be angry at his corner men, who continually told him he was well ahead.
Rua said he didn’t press the action in the final two rounds because his corner had told him he was in control. If that’s true, it’s that advice that cost him the fight. And it’s always the worst kind of advice to give a fighter in any match, but particularly a technical fight like Machida-Rua.
Cage Potato reader B.J. sent us this screenshot of ESPN.com shortly after the main event at UFC 104 concluded. Either they didn’t wait to hear the official decision before writing their headline, or else their overpowering sense of justice simply would not allow them to believe it at first. I admit that I have some sympathy, because I almost made the same mistake myself when I was writing our liveblog.
In the light of the events of Saturday night, some of you have asked us if we’re going to apologize to "Shogun" Rua for insisting that he had no chance against Lyoto Machida. Our answer to that is, if we apologized every time we made fight predictions that didn’t pan out, where would we find the time to do anything else, like making fun of fighters’ tattoo choices or ogling ring girls? Okay, so Rua surprised us. He very nearly surprised the oddsmakers, too. He came in with a great gameplan, he stuck to it, and in fair universe he’d be the champ right now. But as that unanimous decision and the fame of Tila Tequila have both proved, ours is not a fair universe at all. That’s why the gods of pro fighting invented rematches.
(Shogun‘s hands are so heavy, he can barely lift them by the end of round two. Photo courtesy of ESPN.)
Did all our hand-wringing change nothing? According to reports today from MMA Weekly and SuperLutas, Mauricio Rua has signed a bout agreement to be the first challenger for Lyoto Machida‘s light-heavyweight title, in a fight that will come sometime this fall — most likely at UFC 104 in Los Angeles. How official is this news? Well, the UFC hasn’t announced it yet, and Machida has only put a question mark over the photo of Rampage on his website. But it’s looking like a done deal, unless Machida has a crisis of conscience and refuses to sign his own bout agreement, on the grounds that all Shogun did to deserve a title shot was beat up two broken-down former champs who came in with an average age of 41.5. Unfortunately, Machida seems like one of those "I’ll fight whoever the UFC puts in front of me" type-guys, so there you go. Don’t hurt him too bad, Lyoto…
(Busto vs. Anjo at UFC 25, or, before the UFC’s commentating team knew what an arm-triangle choke was.)
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Murilo Bustamante will be returning to action for the first time since 2010 on March 31st when he headlines Amazon Forest Combat 2. And if that sentiment alone doesn’t give you a fearection, then get this: the man he will meet across the cage is none other than the same one he took the UFC Middleweight title from, Dave Menne.
One of the founding member of Brazilian Top Team and a twenty year MMA veteran, Bustamante’s grappling accolades are extensive to say the least, including four Brazilian National BJJ Championships, a 1999 Mundials World Championship, and several appearances in the ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships. After defeating Menne back in January of 2002 at UFC 35 by second round TKO, Bustamante would defend the belt once, submitting Matt Lindland with a guillotine in the third round of their UFC 37 title fight. Financial disputes with the UFC, however, would force Bustamante to vacate the title shortly thereafter and sign with PRIDE FC, where he would go 4-5 against the likes of Dan Henderson, Ikuhisa Minowa, and Quinton Jackson. Bustamante will be looking to erase the memory of his last performance, an abysmal second round TKO due to retirement loss to TUF 7 alumnus Jesse Taylor at Impact FC 2 in July of 2010.
Join us after the jump to hear Bustamante’s thoughts on his upcoming rematch with Menne, as well as his pick for a future opponent that will make the PRIDE fan within you channel Lenne Hardt.
(For Busta, it was always about the fight, not all the bullshit like tattoos, shaved chests and pre-fight smack talk.)
When Murilo Bustamante announced his retirement from mixed martial arts in 2007, it didn’t take long for fans and pundits to start wondering how long before the former UFC middleweight champion returned to the cage.
While this fight will likely turn into a slugfest rivaling Shogun’s scrap with Dan Henderson back at UFC 139 (let us not forget that Te Huna set a UFC record for significant strikes landed in a single round against Joey Beltran), it also reflects a somewhat significant step back in the career of Mauricio Rua. Not that Te Huna isn’t a great fighter — with 4 wins in his past 5 UFC contests, he surely is — but by pairing a legend like Rua with a relative unknown (by casual fans standards) like Te Huna, the UFC seems to be officially closing the book on Rua as a title contender.
With four losses in his past six contests and a career first two-fight skid coming at the hands of Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen, this is perhaps a revelation that we should have seen coming. However, for as long as we can remember, Rua has been one of the most intimidating forces in the sport, a perennial contender and a marquee fighter. To see him playing second fiddle to Antonio Silva (no offense) and fighting anyone less than a future title challenger or MMA megastar kind of erases, or at least blemishes, the mysticism that has existed around him for some time now. As did the fact that he was guillotined by Sonnen inside of a round in his last fight.