For years “Shogun” was seen as the best 205er in the sport. Though he was slowed by a nasty arm injury in 2006, Rua came back strong with four straight wins including a knockout of Alistair Overeem. The beloved Brazilian was then brought in by the UFC after the promotion acquired PRIDE and promptly loss to Forrest Griffin in his first fight. He’s since failed to put more than two straight wins together. Sure, he held UFC gold, but beat over-the-hill fighters Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman to earn the shot and lost it in his initial defense. Rua is currently on a two-fight slide and was handed a winnable fight against James Te Huna for his next challenge as a means of helping him avoid talk of release. While some of Rua’s PRIDE compadres like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Wanderlei Silva could also be on this list, neither came into the UFC arguably in his prime as the 31-year old should STILL be.
A plethora of talented pugilists have emerged from Brazil over the years including some of the sport’s most revered competitors. Not surprisingly, many of those fighters have landed inside the Octagon at one point or another in their respective careers. While some have excelled in the UFC’s infamous eight-sided cage, including a handful of those on tap for action next week at UFC Fight Night 29, plenty of others failed to find the sort of success under the company’s banner they’d experienced in other organizations. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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