Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua spoke to UFC cameras about preparing for his rematch against Forrest Griffin on August 27 at UFC 134. Griffin bested Shogun at UFC 76 in 2007 after a back and forth war saw the original TUF-winner pull out a submission victory.
Shogun spoke about Forrest’s development since the first fight.
“Since we first fought, Forrest has evolved a lot as a fighter, especially in his striking, ground work, and wrestling,” said Shogun. “He’s a more mature fighter. You can see his muay-thai, jiu-jitsu, and other skills have improved.”
When asked about the prospect of avenging his disappointing UFC debut, Shogun replied, “Getting the record even is a big motivation. I think about it a lot. It’s an incentive to take the fight. But more importantly, Forrest is a top fighter, and my dream is to get the belt again.”
This will be Shogun’s first fight since losing his title in March against Jon Jones. The loss to Jones was perhaps the most convincing of his career, and since then, Shogun has sought new training camps and coaches, most notably finding his way to Kings MMA, helmed by his former Pride-coach, Rafael Cordeiro. At the new location, Shogun has been training with Fabricio Werdum, Mark Munoz, and Wanderlei Silva, among others.
Touching on his training for Griffin, Shogun said, “I’m training hard and doing as much as I can so I don’t get tired. That was my biggest mistake in the first fight, and this time I’ll work hard so that it doesn’t happen again.”
During the three UFC fights for which Shogun has received the most criticism: fights with Coleman, Griffin, and recently Jones, Shogun’s cardio has clearly bottomed-out early into each bout. Hopefully for his camp and stable of fans, Shogun’s training will allow him to keep pace with the consistently well-conditioned Griffin, giving him a chance to rebound from his loss at UFC 128.
The interview with Shogun can be seen here: