Though most MMA fans know Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for his brief tenure as UFC light heavyweight champion over bouts against Lyoto Machida and Jon Jones, the 29-year-old made his bones in the now-defunct Pride FC organization.
As a 23-year-old up-and-comer, Rua defeated the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona to capture the Pride 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix title. After signing with the UFC in the wake of their purchase of Pride, Rua has found middling success in the promotion, very likely due to long layoffs and recurrent knee injuries.
He is currently scheduled to face the man who defeated him in his UFC debut, Forrest Griffin, at the UFC’s landmark return to Brazil, which is slated for August 27 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and, if he had his way, he’d be able to employ a key feature of Pride fights: foot stomps to downed opponents.
“In Brazil MMA is ready for the UFC now,” Shogun recently told ESPN.com. “Many people have seen the UFC, many people like MMA. It’s very popular now, and after UFC 134 on August 27 it will change even more because people will see this big show.
“I hope for a change in rules. The stomps… my opinion is elbows are more dangerous than stomps.”
In his most recent outing, “Shogun” was dominated in a bit of irony by up-and-coming 23-year-old Jon “Bones” Jones en route to a third round TKO by which he forfeited his UFC light heavyweight title.