It’s been over six months since Mauricio Rua was robbed of a unanimous decision victory over light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida. While Team Machida hasn’t dared to question the controversial verdict, “Shogun” believes the instant mulligan says it all.
“I think it was really a controversial fight where some people thought that I won the fight and some people thought that I lost the fight,” Rua said on a recent UFC 113 media call. “The biggest proof that it was a controversial fight was the fact that a rematch was set up immediately.
“But this is all in the past for me right now. What gives me comfort is the fact that I’m having another shot at a title and I’ll fight for the world championship again.”
Expectations were sky high when Shogun signed with the UFC back in 2007, however the talented striker was upset by Forrest Griffin in his debut. Rua followed that up with a lackluster 3rdRound TKO over Mark Coleman, who was 44-years-old at the time.
Although he has looked better of late, many are still wondering if Shogun can recapture the magic he had during his PrideFC days. That’s when most considered him the planet’s best light heavyweight despite never holding a major title.
Shogun actually finds it amusing fans want him to revert to his old game when he claims he’s only gotten better since leaving Japan three years ago.
“Well actually, I hope that I’m a better fighter now than I was in the PRIDE grand prix because I train everyday for that to get better,” he said through a translator. “When I fought Mark Coleman, I actually was in good shape. I was well-trained. But, some things were lacking.”
And what exactly was missing from your training regimen?
“I didn’t really have a good notion of space inside the Octagon because I had never trained in a cage before,” Shogun said of his inexperience. “I was training in a ring. And I think that was the biggest difference that affected my performance in the fight because it was a totally different ballgame.”
To ensure he’s always aware of his new surroundings, Shogun now trains in his new home every single day.
“I have an Octagon with the UFC size in my academy, and I think that changes a lot of my training and my preparation,” he said of his new toy. “I think that was likely the biggest mistake I did when I first came into the UFC, to not have an actual fighting space to train at that was much like the one I would use in the UFC.”