(Shogun quietly killing all fighters’ future use of lame excuses why they didn’t perform in important fights)
One story that has been buried by the Paul Daley sucker punch debacle is that newly-crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua went under the surgeon’s knife for an emergency appendectomy just seven weeks ago. The estimated recovery time for the procedure is between four and six weeks, but knowing that the most important fight of his life against Lyoto Machida was rapidly approaching, Rua returned to light training just two weeks after surgery and hard sparring after four.
In spite of his abridged training camp, Shogun made quick work of Machida, stopping the previously unbeaten and reputedly invincible former champion in 3:35 of the opening frame of their second official meeting Saturday night at UFC 113 in Montreal.
In an interview with TATAME following his impressive performance Saturday, Rua said that pulling out of the fight was never an option, despite reservations of several people close to him.
"The doctor and [UFC president] Dana [White]warned me not to fight, but I took my risks, said I would be fine and [Dana] was glad with my attitude and complimented me. I already knew I was ready [before I had to have the surgery] and that I would have some time to recover."
When told by TATAME’s Guilherme Cruz that there have been whispers that Rua could very well be the most dominant light heavyweight in MMA history, Shogun quickly dismissed the talk, pointing to a friend and former training partner as the true holder of the title.
"I don’t think so. Wanderlei is better than me. He represented Brazil for several years, keeping himself on the top and there are few people who also represent well and is on the top of the world for a long time, too."
Spoken like a true champion.
Long live the Shogun era.