Rashad Evans feels that Forrest Griffin is already inside the mind of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Griffin and Rua fight this Saturday at UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 2007, Griffin (18-6) scored a submission over Rua (19-5) by rear-naked choke in the third round. At the time, many publications had Rua ranked as the No. 1 light heavyweight in the world.
Griffin went on to coach on The Ultimate Fighter, and, followed that up with a win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson that gave him the UFC light heavyweight title.
Griffin, the original TUF winner, lost the strap to Evans in 2008.
“There’s something that happens in a fight sometimes, and the way Forrest beat him the first time, he took a piece of him with him. And when you take a piece of somebody with you…well, Shogun recognizes that. I think they might pick up right where they left off, because there’s no fear,” Evans said. “You know, Forrest is going to go in there, and Forrest is going to push the pace. Let’s be honest here. Shogun does not have the best conditioning. I think that was a problem in their first fight, and I think it’s going to be a problem in this second fight.”
Rua underwent knee surgery this past June, which delayed his first title defense against Jon Jones. Jones went on to defeat Rua, sending him to 3-3 in his UFC career.
Despite being just 29 years old, “Shogun” has had multiple knee surgeries, causing him to miss several months of training and taking years off his fight career.
Looking to make a change in his training, Rua moved to Los Angeles to train with former coach Rafael Cordeiro, who was his master at Chute Box.
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