Despite achieving an emphatic victory over Brandon Vera at UFC On Fox 4, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's performance left some unanswered questions about the former Light Heavyweight champion's cardio. After a grappling heavy first round and nearly finishing Vera early in the second, Shogun appeared very winded. Rua went on to finish Vera in the fourth round, but his heaving breaths and low hanging hands are weakness that higher quality opponent could have exploited.
Monday, Mauricio's coach Andre Dida spoke to Tatame about the fight:
A win is a win, it doesn't matter if you score it with your head, shoulder or knee. Shogun knocked him out and did his job. I'm very proud of him and he proved he never gives up. Fighting him is always a war and he never surrenders.
Shogun has reached his physical peak already and it doesn't come back. I saw many people criticizing him, but the team approved his performance: he went for the knockout and won. You can always correct some details in your fight, like it happened this time but we're going to fix it and get there. We couldn't work Shogun's 100 percent on a fight but it will happen. We will do it and I hope it happens when we have a chance at the title. We're getting along just fine and we'll make it work
Although he seems to be happy with Rua's performance overall, Dida himself appears to be a controversial part of Rua's training. Following the event, Murilo "Ninja" Rua revealed on Twitter that Dida is the reason he was not in his brother's corner on fight night. Prior to that, Ninja had cornered his brother in every fight of his career.
Murilo explained the situation to UOL Esporte (transcribed by Fighter's Only):
I was not there [in the corner] because I had a problem with Dida’s coaching in Mauricio’s last fight [against Dan Henderson]. Then he came to me and said I would not be training with my brother, so I thought it best to follow my path. Now I'm just his brother, I do not do any training with him.
I did not like how he was leading the preparation of Mauritius for the fight against Dan Henderson. I may err, but I'm his brother and I'm always with him. I did not like the things [Dida] spoke and did. But now I'm training at another gym, happy, and on my way in search of other achievements and opportunities.
Fighter's Only also points out that Mauricio's manager Julius Eller was unhappy with Rua's endurance in the bout. So far, Shogun has not spoken about his thoughts on his trainers or his brother leaving the camp. However, it's hard to imagine that he was unaffected by his brother's absence.