Opinion: What Does “Shogun” Rua Have Left?
By Michael Hatamoto
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is a former PRIDE superstar and former UFC light-heavyweight champ, but he will have his back against the wall when he fights James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 on Friday, December 6th.
Shogun and Te Huna have promised a fan-friendly fight where both fighters look to stand and bang – but I am interested to see which fighter tries to switch things up first.
I hope Shogun is able to land some significant strikes and tries to drag Te Huna down to the ground, where he can use ground and pound mixed with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Instead, if Shogun decides to try and stand and bang with Te Huna the entire fight, I wouldn’t be shocked if the fighter from New Zealand is able to wear Shogun down.
Following the fight it’s possible Shogun will drop from light-heavyweight to make a run at the middleweight title, but we’ll have to wait to see what happens on Friday.
This is a match-up you would have never imagined a couple of years ago, but this could be Shogun’s last chance to show he still deserves recognition in the light-heavyweight division. I don’t think the UFC would suddenly cut Shogun if he loses to Te Huna on Friday night, but it will certainly set him back in his effort for high-profile, bigger paying fights.
Shogun is only 32 years old, so I have a lot of hope that he’ll be able to beat Te Huna and climb back into relevance at 205 – or go to middleweight with momentum – as he’s talented, but he physically hasn’t been able to hold up.
Follow Full Contact Fighter on Friday night for full analysis of UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs. Bigfoot, live from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.