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Tag: Shogun Rua

Ben vs. Jared — ‘UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen’ Edition


(Poster via Nixsons.com)

With a UFC event scheduled for this weekend that’s actually worth watching, it’s time for another installment of Ben vs. Jared, in which CagePotato’s founding editor Ben Goldstein and long-suffering staff writer Jared Jones go cabeza-a-cabeza to discuss some of this card’s major themes. For example: Is Shogun vs. Sonnen the most pointless match on the UFC Fight Night 26 main card? Is it safe to board the Matt Brown hype train? Will Joe Lauzon make history again? And is it Yuri or Iuri? Prepare for serious business…

So, Shogun vs. Sonnen at light-heavyweight — what’s at stake here? Anything? Anything at all?

BG: I think Shogun’s career is at stake, for one thing. If he loses to a one-dimensional middleweight (no offense, Chael), it’ll drop his UFC win percentage below .500, and bump him out of the UFC light-heavyweight contender picture, maybe permanently. He’ll enter that twilight stage of his career where he’s just showing up for “fun fights,” still famous enough to headline smaller UFC events in Brazil, but no longer part of the overall conversation. Or, he can just retire and run a gas station like his brother. Neither scenario is ideal, but the one that doesn’t require him to sustain traumatic brain injuries seems a little healthier.

For Chael, this fight is more of a no-lose proposition, just like his previous light-heavyweight appearance against Jon Jones. A win against Shogun would be a career highlight, and a loss just means he goes back to middleweight where he belongs, for a battle against Wanderlei Silva that he’s already trying to hype up. Sonnen has already exited the title picture in two different weight-classes, but I don’t even think that matters to him much anymore. Whether he’s shouting behind a FOX Sports broadcast desk or cutting promos after a fight, the man’s just content to have a microphone.

JJ: Fuuuuuuck no. “Out of the light heavyweight picture?” Shogun has been out of the light-heavyweight picture since the current champion put him out of the light heavyweight picture at UFC 128, and I say that as a Shogun fan. The fact is, Shogun can’t stay healthy, he can’t put a win streak together, and his BADBOY tights are getting more constrictive by the day. Training with Freddie Roach may prolong Rua’s career a year or two longer than he would have lasted without it, but Shogun has got to be about the oldest 31-year-old in MMA. He was just used as a stepping stone for Alexander Gustafsson (unless you honestly thought the UFC was setting him up to be slaughtered by Jones again), so as far as I’m concerned, he IS in the “fun fights” part of his career. Again, Shogun fan talking here.

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UFC on Fox 5 Aftermath: Toothpickgate, A Changing of the Guard and Glorious, Glorious Violence


Ben Henderson’s Glorious Toothpick of Absolute Victory? Props: BloodyElbow.

When it comes to UFC on Fox 5, it’s hard to know whether to start with the top or the bottom. Ben Henderson’s dismantling of Nate Diaz was a statement performance in a division where title fights have been been subjected to controversy and questionable decisions for the past two years. (Frankie Edgar’s KO of Gray Maynard notwithstanding.) And he did this with a toothpick in his mouth the entire time! No, that’s not necessarily legal, but it makes the performance even more incredible. But on the other hand, this was probably the best, most violent preliminary card in recent memory, highlighted with KOs from Yves Edwards and Daron Cruickshank. And that’s not even touching the rest of the main card. We have much to discuss, Potato Nation.

So let’s start with the top. Ben Henderson, toothpick and all, dominated Nate Diaz. He kicked the legs out from under him, tossed him into the fence at will, and when they engaged on the ground, it was on Henderson’s terms. Diaz was able to maneuver into position for leg lock attempts in the third round, but beyond that he didn’t have much to offer Henderson. (Humorously, during one of those exchanges, Diaz raised his fist to Henderson’s face, and the camera immediately cut to a crowd shot. Yeah, wonder why…) Diaz never gave up trying, to his credit, but Henderson demonstrated that he was clearly the superior fighter of the two. Henderson was able to drop Diaz on multiple occasions, and while he was able to finish the Stockton fighter, he was able to damage him to the degree that even Diaz conceded victory when the final bell sounded. Henderson came out with a smart gameplan and executed it in violent fashion. Whoever challenges for the title next will have a serious issue on their hands, because with Frankie Edgar gone, Henderson finally looks secure on his throne.

The rest of the main card undoubtedly saw a – pardon the phrase – changing of the guard last night. Alexander Gustafsson was able to bloody and batter Mauricio “Shogun” Rua en route to a clear cut decision. Shogun came out strong, and while none of the judges saw fit to give him the first round, some observers (myself included) did. He used leg kicks, connected with the heaviest shots, and even though he got taken down, was easily able to avoid damage and return to his feet. However, rounds two and three weren’t up for debate. As Shogun tired, he began to throw desperate, flailing strikes which Gustafsson easily evaded. The Swede was content peppering Shogun from outside, dominating the clinch exchanges, and taking Shogun down at will throughout the latter rounds. It wasn’t the most impressive performance, and may not land him a title shot, but it’s easily his most significant victory in the UFC. For Shogun, it’s a sad day when a once great fighter can barely fight 15 minutes. He’s got a couple of fights left in him, but not much more.

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UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera — The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


Props: MMA Photoshops

In our efforts to give out high fives and bro grabs over how much fun Saturday night’s fights were, we missed the opportunity to give constructive criticism to some of the evening’s lowest moments. We’ll more than likely still miss out on the constructive criticism here, but sometimes there’s just no way to be helpful about something’s ugliness (no matter how hard you try to be). But before we get caught up in the negativity…

The Good:

Vera and Varner Impressive in Defeat. Before Saturday night, both men were expected to be little more than highlight reel fodder for their opponents. After they came up just short in two of the most competitive, entertaining bouts to be broadcast on Fox, it’d be too easy to make comparisons to Rocky. So instead of making one, I’ll just imply it – problem solved. A loss is never easy for either fighter to swallow, but it could have been much uglier.

Mike Swick’s Feel-Good Comeback Fight. Is it even possible not to feel good for Mike Swick? After losing his last two fights and spending over two years away from the sport, things were looking pretty grim for “Quick.” Watching DaMarques Johnson control Swick for the first round certainly didn’t brighten the mood, either. But if you know somebody who wasn’t cheering while Swick flawlessly finished Johnson, that person has no pulse. In fact, that “person” is probably a zombie. Act accordingly.

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UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera — Live Results & Commentary


(“Then it’s settled. I’ll crouch behind him, and you push him over.” / Photo via CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this set, click here.)

I’ve got an idea: Instead of obsessing about who really deserves the next shot at the light-heavyweight title, let’s just kick back tonight and enjoy some free fights on FOX, two of which happen to feature former 205-pound champions (both Brazilian) facing off against hungry contenders (both American). Throw in a lightweight feature between Joe Lauzon and comeback kid Jamie Varner, and Mike Swick‘s first Octagon appearance in two-and-a-half years, and you’ve got a lineup that should hopefully take some of the sting off that $55 you blew on UFC 149.

The UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera main card kicks off at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and our man Elias Cepeda will be guiding you through the play-by-play after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and give us the play-by-play for your own lives in the comments section.

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Brandon Vera Actually Cares About “Shogun” Rua Fight, Says Jon Jones Isn’t “Some Young Punk” Anymore…wait, WHAT?!


And yet he STILL hasn’t learned that only tools wear Affliction…

We’re just a few days away from UFC on FOX 4, which will be headlined by arguably the most confusing contender fight in modern UFC history. While most fans can kind of justify Shogun earning a title shot with a victory given his track record (especially if Hendo manages to put away Jones at UFC 151), Brandon Vera remains a gigantic question mark. With his most notable victory being a TKO over heavyweight Frank Mir back in 2006, it’s hardly a surprise that most fans and pundits are completely unable to make sense of this bout even headlining the card, yet alone being for a title shot.

If Brandon Vera attempted to justify all of this through his appearance on “Inside MMA,” he ended up just raising even more questions. Case in point: Vera talked about his training camp leading up to his bout with “Shogun” Rua. Aside from bringing back his Muay Thai coaches and sparring with Alexander Gustafsson, Vera commented that he was ”doing the things he should have been doing since day one.” Specifically, he’s actually caring now about his career. As he told the “Inside MMA” crew:

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Video Retrospective: Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua’s 16 Most Essential Fights

Over the last ten years, we’ve watched Mauricio “Shogun” Rua go from young phenom to living legend. Though injuries and and controversial judging have occasionally slowed his momentum during the second half of his career, Shogun enters next weekend’s UFC on FOX 4 matchup with Brandon Vera as a standard-bearer for his generation of fighters, and is still considered among the elite of the light-heavyweight division.

In honor of Rua’s continuing legacy, we’ve picked out the 16 videos that best summarize his journey as a fighter — from the past to the present, from his most unforgettable triumphs to his most crushing defeats. Enjoy, and pay your respects in the comments section.


Mauricio Rua vs. Rodrigo Malheiros de Andrade. Shot in 1998 when Rua was just 16 years old, this footage shows the future PRIDE/UFC star competing in a Muay Thai smoker in somebody’s house in Curitiba, Brazil. Though Shogun shows flashes of his trademark aggression, his technique hasn’t quite blossomed yet, and he winds up getting head-kick KO’d at the video’s 7:15 mark.


Mauricio Rua vs. Rafael Freitas, Meca World Vale Tudo 7, 11/8/02. Rua was 20 years old when he made his official MMA debut against Rafael “Capoeira” Freitas, who was tenacious in his attempts to put Shogun on his back. But Freitas couldn’t keep him there, and the standup exchanges were lopsided in Rua’s favor. After a few minutes of abusing his opponent with knees, punches, and stomps, Shogun finally puts Freitas out cold with a head-kick.

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‘Shogun vs. Vera: Road to the Octagon’ — Full UFC on FOX 4 Preview Video


(Props: SUPAFIGHTLEAGUE)

They brought me into this fight as a fish for Shogun to eat.”

So said Brandon Vera during yesterday’s hour-long “UFC’s Road to the Octagon” special on FOX, which previewed next weekend’s UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera card in Los Angeles. Vera is well aware that few people are giving him a chance in the night’s headliner — especially considering that he hasn’t had an impressive victory in over three years — but the opportunity to fight Shogun and return to elite-fighter status has given him new motivation for training.

As you can imagine, Shogun has no interest in becoming the co-star in Vera’s Cinderella story. “I’m not going to be the one to bring Brandon Vera back,” he says. And if Rua wins, he’ll likely get another shot at the light-heavyweight belt, where he’d either fight a guy who already crushed him, or a guy who beat him up for the majority of a five-round war. I know, don’t get us started.

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MMA Stock Market™ — ‘UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson’ Edition


(In a way, we were all the “Screaming PRIDE Lady” that night. / Photo courtesy of Esther Lin, MMA Fighting)

By Jason Moles

The suits on Wall Street keep whispering about a ‘Halloween indicator‘ and how now is not a time to sell; rather we should sit back and let our riches mount. Call it what you will, but millions watched UFC on FOX and UFC 139 and concluded the same thing: Most fighter’s stocks are rising steadily. Even if you’re not sure which is the true Fight of the Year from this weekend — Dan Henderson vs. Marucio Rua or Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler — you’ll know how to safeguard your hypothetical MMA portfolio’s worth after playing another round of ‘Buy, Sell, Hold’.

Stephan Bonnar: Buy

It’s hard to believe that any TUF veteran could take nearly a year off from the sport and return with the engine firing on all cylinders, but Stephan Bonnar did just that. The BJJ schooling he dished out was almost as surprising as his apology to Josh Koscheck for making those damn shirts. Even that wasn’t the most unexpected thing to happen; one judge gave the ‘American Psycho’ a 30-25 victory. Grab hold of any unclaimed stock before he starts getting big fights and Dana declares him “in the mix.”

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Reminder: Watch the UFC 139 Weigh-Ins Live Right Here Tonight at 7:00 pm ET

Just a friendly reminder that we will be streaming the weigh-ins for UFC 139 live from San Jose starting at 7:00 pm ET.

Check back then and watch a bunch of dudes go alpha on one another in their underwear. Nothing weird about that.

UFC player is after the jump.

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Dan Henderson Looking to Get His Fourth-Straight KO Victory Against “Shogun” Rua

Dan Henderson vs Fedor Emelianenko Strikeforce
(Fedor Emelianenko bows to Dan Henderson’s superior firepower at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson in July. Photo props: Cagewriter)

By Joey Santosus

With 13 of his 28 professional victories coming by some form of knockout, it’s no secret what one can expect from Dan Henderson when he steps into the cage. In fact, he’s finished his last three opponents via stoppage, and according to his striking coach Gustavo Pugliese, he’ll be looking to make it four straight when he meets Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on November 19th…

Visit Lowkick.Blitzcorner.com to read about Hendo’s game-plan for his Octagon return next month.

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