This Fan Post was promoted to the front page by Nick Thomas.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will make his first defense of the UFC light heavyweight belt this Saturday, March 19 at UFC 128. His opponent will be Jon Jones a practically undefeated 23 year old phenom (his only loss was via DQ). Game-planning for the 6'4" Jones and his 84" reach is a challenge for any fighter, even the veteran Rua, whom many consider the best 205 pound fighter of all-time.
Shogun Rua talks to UFC Brasil: (translated by Orcus)
"(Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader) was a good fight, Jones dominated the whole fight, he showed to be a very calm guy that doesn't get nervous during the fight and does what he knows. Before the fight I already knew I'd be taking on the winner of the two, I knew whoever won (at UFC 126) I'd be facing. Because Dana (White) told me there weren't a lot of options. In case I didn't accept it they'd have to postpone my fight and I didn't want that, I wanted to fight now. So I already knew I'd be fighting one of the two, so I was there (studying) my next opponent, looking at his mistakes and his strengths."
"I operated my knee on the 10th of June. ...I feel no pain at all, and I've been training 100% for the last five months. Ready for war."
Paula: Today we'll be interviewing one of the most talented and dangerous fighter in the world, Mauricio Shogun, UFC LHW Champion.
Who has a fight scheduled, he'll be putting his belt on the line in New Jersey against the American Jon Jones
Shogun, tell us a bit about this change in opponent, you were going to be facing Rashad Evans
But an injury made the UFC change its plans
Shogun: Yes, I found out this week in Las Vegas that he hurt his knee
And at the 45 minute mark of the second half they changed the opponent, so...
Now I'll be facing Jon Jones, so let's do this, right?
Paula: And this change in opponents with a little over a month to the fight, will it change your training routines or strategies for the fight?
Shogun: I view Jon Jones with similar characteristics to Rashad
Rashad is good in boxing and in wrestling, Jon Jones is good in kickboxing and wrestling
So they basically have the same strengths, the only difference is their body types
Jones is much taller, so now I have to search for tall people to spar with, and get some bigger people in there
Paula: and this change in opponent was announced right after Jones' victory at UFC 126
What did you think of his fight, since you were present [at the event]
Shogun: It was a good fight, Jones dominated the whole fight, he showed to be a very calm guy that doesn't get nervous during the fight and does what he knows
And before the fight I already knew I'd be taking on the winner of the two, I knew whoever won I'd be facing
Because Dana told me there weren't a lot of options
In case I didn't accept it they'd have to postpone my fight and I don't want that, I want to fight now
So I already knew I'd be fighting one of the two, so I was there [studying] my next opponent, looking at his mistakes and his strengths
Paula: And even though Jones is young and is building a brilliant résumé in the UFC, his style is similar to that of Anderson Silva, right?
At least that's what a lot of people have been saying, do you think this is true?
Shogun: yeah, I think he started mimicking Anderson in this fight, with the base in Muay Thai
But his body type is also similar to Anderson's, he has long limbs
And... he's probably a fan of Anderson's, right? To be mimicking him?
But yes, I think he resembles Anderson a bit with his Muay Thai
Paula: Where do you think Jon Jones is most dangerous at?
Shogun: I think with his takedowns, he fought a top wrestler and took him down easily, and played around with him using his wrestling, so I think [he's most dangerous] with the Ground n' Pound
Paula: tell us a bit regarding your surgery, you're coming off a very serious surgery in your knee
I'd like for you to explain to us what happened, how is your recovering coming along? Are you 100%?
Shogun: right, I operated my knee on the 10th of June
I operated my Anterior Cruciate Ligament that I tore, but thank God that this ligament is replaceable so...
It's okay, I never felt any pain in my knee, nothing, it's not like [my previous] surgery where I blew my knees
And the doctor was very surprised that I didn't have any injury to cartilage and that's what's important
Those don't regenerate, so thank God my knees are intact
I feel no pain at all, and I've been training 100% for the last five months
Paula: Ready for war?
Shogun: Ready for war
Paula: great, recapping Shogun will be putting his belt in line for the first time, at UFC 128 in New Jersey, in the US facing the American Jon Jones
To close, please tell everyone what to expect from this fight
How will Shogun come in? Will this be a five round fight?
Shogun: Well, I hope not, I hope to win before that, but a fight is a fight so no one knows
And what I can promise to my fans is that I'll be giving it my all, I can't promise victory but I can promise I'll be giving 100% to represent my country outside
Paula: and now a message for the site UFCBrasil
Shogun: A hug for everyone who follows the site, I'll be fighting on March 19th and I want some positive energy from everyone who'll be watching it at home, thank you!
Paula: Thank you Shogun!