Shogun Rua's Knee Woes

I recently posted a Fanpost on, and on my MMA Injury blog in which I reviewed the knee surgeries that Dominick Cruz has endured recently. Comments on that post were interesting, and more than one person expressed interest in finding out what has gone wrong with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s knee (or knees). So, as a budding MMA Injury blogger, I immediately started digging and this is what I have for you!

From what I can find, it appears that all of Shogun’s injuries involve the old lady of knee injuries, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. The chronological history of his injuries, and subsequent surgeries, is as follows:

  1. September 2007- Shogun fought Forrest Griffin at UFC 76, apparently with an already-damaged ACL. Following this fight, he goes under the knife for ACL reconstruction surgery in Brazil.
  2. His ACL surgery failed. He re-injured the same knee (and I presume the same ACL ligament) sometime soon after the original ACL surgery. A 2011 article attributes this to “rushing his rehab and re-injuring the knee.” He is forced to have a second ACL surgery.
  3. January 2009- Rua returns to the Octagon at UFC 93 with a win against Mark Coleman. This marks about 16 months between fights.
  4. April 2009- Rua beats Chuck Liddell at UFC 97.
  5. October 2009- Shogun loses to Lyoto Machida at UFC 104.
  6. May 2010- He earns a KO victory in a rematch with Machida at UFC 113. It was revealed after the fight that Rua had once again injured his knee. He undergoes surgery to repair the knee in June.

I find the most interesting aspect of this long saga to be his rehab after the original ACL surgery. There is some information out there indicating that he may have rushed or pushed his rehab too hard, leading to re-injury and the second surgery. In my piece on Dominick Cruz’s knee surgeries, I note that his first surgery used a cadaver graft to replace the ACL, with the idea of a quicker recovery. However, this type of graft may not heal as quickly (or “take” inside the knee) when compared to the traditional patella tendon graft. There is the possibility that the athlete could push too hard during rehab, causing reinjury of the tendon graft. I wonder if this was the case following Rua’s first surgery?

You can read my full entry with more details about Shogun's knee injuries on the MMA Injury blog.

Please follow me on Twitter @mmainjury

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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