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Wednesday, Aug 27, 2003

August 28, 2003

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By Eduardo Alonso

Heating up for the IFC tourney:
The Chute Boxe Prodigy Goes to His Biggest Battle Ever!

      In November of 2002 a kid was making his debut in our sport of Mixed Martial Arts. However, when he entered the ring a huge reaction from the crowd was noticed, and all the press started to pay absolute attention to the ring. There was a reason for that! The kid happened to be Murilo Ninja’s brother, and was hyped as the next big thing coming out of the so feared Chute Boxe team. When you are part of a team with fearless fighters such as Wanderlei Silva, all-around guys such as Ninja himself, and technical stand-up fighters such as Anderson Silva, this must say a lot about a young fighter. The most impressive thing was that the kid truly lived up to the hype, and with only close to 1 year of training under the team he was already a pro fighter scoring a KO in his debut. However, many started to question the quality of his opponents, mostly when he scored his second win months later. Then the moment of truth came by, and Mauricio Shogun Rua stepped into a ring far from his hometown city to face a character that would scare most people away, starting with his looks, going through his antics, passing by his powerful punches that made several victims in recent times, and never forgetting his talk. In what was truly a war the Chute Boxe prodigy took care of Cyborg in little less than 10 minutes of an epic battle and erased all doubts of his potential and most importantly his heart! Now, times changed for Shogun and he is ready for an even tougher challenge, competing in the IFC tourney where he will have to win 3 fights in one night to become the champion, facing experienced fighters from all over the globe, and guess what? The kid is still the same, training hard and taking each fight at a time, as he commented on this friendly conversation with Full Contact Fighter!

Shogun wins
FCF:   Let’s start by talking about your fight at the last MECA show against Cyborg. This was the first time you fought out of your hometown of Curitiba [this edition of MECA was held in Teresopolis, a city near Rio de Janeiro]. How was it?
Shogun:   Man, it was the same thing for me. I felt at home there and it didn’t change a bit for me. The only thing that was missing was the support of my mother and my girlfriend [Laughs] but this is part of the game.

FCF:   How about in the locker room this time? Did you feel as comfortable and relaxed as in your previous fights, during the warm-ups, stretches and things like this, considering there weren’t many friends around this time?
Shogun:   It didn’t change much cause locker rooms in Curitiba or Rio are of limited access Eduardo [Not always exactly true in Brazil]. Only authorized people will enter, so even in Curitiba all my buddies aren’t able to enter it. Of course it feels better to fight here in Curitiba though, you can go and have dinner on a place you like on the day before the fight, there are lots of good things about fighting at home.

FCF:   This was the first time you also had to sleep in a hotel before a fight! How was it for you? [Laughs]
Shogun:   [Laughs] It was cool. I woke up late on the day of the fight, around 11 am I think. It was cool, I was able to sleep well and concentrate well for my fight.

FCF:   This was the first time you fought and I couldn’t attend the weigh-ins. How was the atmosphere during it, and was Cyborg a tough guy during the weigh-ins and rules meeting?
Shogun:   During the weigh-ins he was like a kitty, not even looking to the sides. He weighed at 92.700 kg and I weighed 91.900 kg. I spent all day almost without eating anything, cause I left Curitiba weighing 93 kg and I was afraid of not making weight. I thought "I’m going to take it easy with the food" but I took it too far [Laughs] But I recovered everything during dinner, where I ate a lot!

FCF:   Did him stare down you a lot during the weigh-ins?
Shogun:   Not at all, cause we didn’t have those traditional face to face pictures as we have in most shows, so there wasn’t any room for this things.

FCF:   During your preparation for the fight, did you feel any special motivation since he had knocked out your training partner Silvio Urutum at MECA 7?
Shogun:   For sure! I even told Urutum that I would dedicate myself even more to this fight because of his loss. I told him "Look Urutum, I will give my best to avenge your loss. You can count on that".

FCF:   When you saw him in the ring with all that characteristic look, with his finger nails painted in black, his eyebrow cut, all dressed in black with that assassin look, etc, what went through your mind?
Shogun:   People had already told me that he enters the ring in that crazy killer style all the time. So I was already aware that I was going to meet a monster there at fighting-time, so I was just trying to focus on the fight and don’t pay attention to his antics.

Click here to continue the interview

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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