‘Shogun’ Rua Says Injury Hindered Performance in First Paul Craig Fight
By FCF Staff
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua battled Paul Craig to a draw in their first bout. But, it sounds like the legend is expecting a more decisive outcome in his favor, as he gets set for their rematch.
Rua and Craig battled for the first time last November, and the fight was declared a split draw. Due to how the first fight unfolded, the light heavyweights were booked to fight again at UFC 255, Saturday.
“I tore my thigh muscle in the first 20 seconds of the fight. I thought it was a cramp, because I had never felt that before and was confused. The next day the back of my thigh was all black. I had really torn it. It hindered me the whole fight, I couldn’t move that well.”
“I’m one of the last Pride fighters in the UFC.” Rua continued. “People don’t understand that I started out very young in Pride. I’m 38 now, but I don’t consider myself old. Some people hit their prime in their 40’s, like Fabricio Werdum and Demian Maia. It’s different for each person. I’ve never been this well in the UFC as I am now. In my last seven fights, I won five, lost one and went to a draw in the other one.”
And, while talking about the outcome of their first bout, the Brazilian star said this.
“I thought I won that fight. Everyone I talked to thought the same. But we can’t control the result. Now it’s another fight, another time. I know Paul Craig will come prepared, but it’ll be another fight. He’s a big, tall guy, who likes jiu-jitsu. He feels comfortable fighting from the bottom. I already knew him from another fight, now I studied his game again. I know it’ll be a tough fight. He’s a tough, young guy.”
The 38-year-old Rua (27-11-1) has fought once since he faced Craig, as this past July, he recorded a split decision win over Antônio Rogério Nogueira.
Craig (13-4-1), who is 32, also fought this past July and submitted Gadzhimurad Antigulov.