Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (18-3) is looking to climb to the top of the mountain once again this Saturday. The winner of the PRIDE Fighting Championship’s 2005 Middleweight (205lb) Grand Prix is looking to hand UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida his first loss, and take his belt in the process. Shogun recently told Heavy.com that despite Machida’s elusive style, he hopes to find his weakness.
“Every fighter has weak points, as every fighter has strong points,” Shogun stated. “There’s no perfect fighter, and there’s always something you think you can do and exploit. We trained hard to do what we believe is right, and we’ll see how it goes on October 24th.
“My team and I developed the strategy we feel is right, and we plan on executing it on the fight,” he contined. “A fight is a fight though, and many different things can happen. Machida is a great fighter and we respect his favorite status, let’s see what happens by fight time.”
Shogun earned the shot after defeating former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell at UFC 97: Redemption in April. Shogun admits that the victory was a key moment in his career, and still feels that Liddell should compete if he desires.
“Liddell is someone I admire a lot, as I watched his fights even before I dreamed of being a professional fighter,” he admitted. “It was a key moment of my career and the win felt awesome. As for Chuck’s status right now, I think that’s for him to say. I believe he can still compete, but only he and his family and trainers can make a decision on what’s best for him. I wish him the best though.”
Shogun was also careful about not setting his sights past Machida when he was asked who he would like to face next, remarking, “Machida is the champion right now, and I have to fight him and beat him. Only after that I’ll stop to think of it, along with my manager and my team, and most importantly this is the UFC call.
“Right now, all my focus is on winning the fight and I can’t look past it, it would be a huge mistake.”
For the full interview with Shogun at Heavy.com, click here. UFC 104 takes place tomorrow night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Other fights on the card include Joe Stevenson vs. Spencer Fisher and Ben Rothwell vs. Cain Velasquez. As always, we will be providing live free coverage of the show, as well as the latest breaking news leading up to the event. We will have quick preliminary card results beginning at 7 PM EST, followed by detailed round-by-round coverage of the main card at 10 PM EST.