Shogun Rua's Impressive Win Still Leaves Questions

Mauricio_shogun_rua___mediumPromoted from the FanPosts by Kid Nate.

Saturday evening's main event between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites didn't exactly get fans terribly excited to watch the final fight of the evening. Stylistically, most fans saw the fight as a potential trouncing of Leites at the hands of Silva's standup game. Instead, we were given five rounds of Silva being reluctant and hesitant in letting his hands go, and Leites flopping to the floor to anticipate a ground war. Fortunately for us, the real main event in Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua delivered.

I'll be the first to admit that I was completely wrong about this matchup. For days, I've argued my case to hardcore and casual fans alike. I had smoogy breathing down my neck about my analysis of the matchup and trolling casual fans criticizing me for placing a bet on Liddell. I was still confident that the stylistic matchup in Liddell vs. Shogun would favor Liddell. Normally, this is a fairly accurate way to pick fights, but of course, MMA is much more volatile.

Where did most of us go wrong on Chuck Liddell? I think the most glaring problem is that Chuck Liddell has, in fact, slowed down considerably. All the talk regarding his training at ATT may have improved his boxing technically, but his speed isn't what it used to be. Furthermore, Chuck's chin has went from being able to take considerable damage to hardly able to take a clip of a knuckle. Both are problems attributed to an aging fighter who has pushed himself past his prime.

With Shogun's win over Chuck Liddell, the possibilities have opened up to fans trying to analyze who the UFC will try to match him up with next, but I have some different questions. While I'm a huge Shogun Rua fan and I found myself rooting against my own bet during the fight, I'm still reluctant to profess that the real "Shogun" Rua is back.

Four minutes and 28 seconds isn't enough time for us to quickly state that Shogun's cardio is back, but the win will allow him to continue putting a huge emphasis on it. His aggressive nature that we're used to seeing in PRIDE was there, but his standup wasn't as technical as many fans made it out to be. The big factor in Shogun's win, in my mind, was the fact that Liddell just isn't what he used to be anymore. With that said, we should reserve judgment on whether Rua is truly back until he faces someone that will provide a stiffer test.

Like many hardcore fans, I'm hoping Shogun can become the dominating machine that he once was in the PRIDE ring. Did this matchup prove that? No, I don't think it proved much at all. He looked in better shape, but is five minutes enough time to truly determine that he is back? For now, I'll give him the credit he deserves. It was a great win, and I hope the UFC gives him a solid challenge to prove to the world that he is truly back to form.

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