Mauricio “Shogun” Rua: UFC Light Heavyweight Champion

May 13th 2010

Seven months ago, Shogun showed the world that he had figured out the "Machida Puzzle" by matching Machida’s moves and out-striking Machida with terrifying precision. Unfortunately, he learned that judges tend to see a different fight than the fighters, managers, promotion owners, and fans.

So, what went wrong? Try this on for size – Shogun spent 25 minutes fighting Machida with Machida.

Tonight, Shogun beat Machida with Shogun. Tonight, we saw the true return of the Mauricio "Shogun" Rua who took the 2005 PRIDE Grand Prix belt, who called out Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and then destroyed him. Tonight, Shogun came to the UFC.

Shogun started the fight without hesitation, closing the distance between him and Machida instantly, delivering his first flurry of strikes and giving early life to the fight. Machida began his dance, and Shogun followed, trading three strikes for each of Machida’s. Then, the unexpected happened – Machida took down Shogun! Fortunately, Shogun’s Jiu Jitsu proved too strong for Machida, and Shogun was able to sweep and stand back up. Shogun threw Machida into the cage and went to work on his legs – very much like he did in 104. Machida connected and tried to jockey for a better angle, but was answered with right hand from Shogun that changed Machida’s strategy to retreat.

Then, lightening struck twice, Machida took Shogun down again, but this time showed some wisdom by delivering a knee to the body and then quickly retreating to his feet. Shogun followed and this time connected with a right hook that sends Machida to the canvass. Shogun pounced, mounted and then pounded on Machida's cranium until he was stopped by referee Yves Lavigne. Good thing too, Machida didn’t get up for a while, having lost consciousness.

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