Many thought that this opportunity would have presented itself years ago for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, however UFC 104 will mark the first time the talented Brazilian has ever fought for a major title. It may have been a long time coming, but Shogun plans on seizing the opportunity.
“I get very happy with that, because when you get to the first five rounder of your career, it means you’re fighting for the belt,” Shogun told MMAWeekly.com. “I take it as a great thing. I always wanted to train for five rounds.”
Rua has been training for his bout against light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in Curitiba, Brazil, however will decide whether to move his camp to Sao Paulo within the coming weeks, as he did when he buckled down before his knockout of Chuck Liddell at UFC 97.
Regardless of where he trains, Shogun knows that he will have to suffer through the most grueling training camp of his career if he intends to wrap UFC gold around his waist on October 24th. His team is preaching patience and timing against MMA’s most elusive fighter, and he seems to be hearing the message loud and clear.
“Most of the guys that fought Lyoto … found a problem with patience, with finding the right moment to attack, or to counter-strike him,” Shogun said. “Some guys try to rush it too much; some guys try to stay too patient, (and) they start to get nervous because of that.
“I think the key is the timing of the fight, to get the feeling of when to engage and when to counter-strike him. This is likely the key, to find the pace and the rhythm, mostly the timing of the strikes to be able to connect and to make it a fight. For sure, I’m going to concentrate on that and develop a good strategy.”
UFC 104 takes place in Los Angeles, CA on October 24, 2009 and is headlined by Rua facing Machida for the UFC light heavyweight championship. The card also features a clash between heavyweights Ben Rothwell and Cain Velasquez.