UFC middleweight fighter and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert, Demian Maia, comments on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s performance against Mark Coleman. Although he felt that Shogun was a bit tired during the fight, he still feels “he fought well” against the former UFC heavyweight champion. On April 18th, Shogun will be put to the test against former light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell who desperately needs a win if he plans on staying on the top of the division.
Maia has stepped into Shogun’s camp to tweek up every aspect of his ground game. He feels confident that Shogun will be victorious in the co-main event against the Iceman, adding that “he’ll get to the top” of the 205-pound division eventually. Shogun was considered the #1 light heavyweight fighter in the world until his UFC debut loss against Forrest Griffin back in September of 2007 at UFC 76. He was later able to redeem himself with a third round TKO win over Coleman, but was highly criticized for his inability to finish the fight in the early rounds. His conditioning played a huge factor in both UFC matches, but he is expected to resolve that issue come UFC 97.
Here’s a snip from Demian Maia himself as he spoke to tatame.com:
“He’s a super professional, (Sergio) Cunha is his head coach and takes care of all his training here, doing the schedules and everything, it’s great. He’s away from Curitiba (Shogun’s hometown) and it’s good for him to get more concentrated…he’s on the right away, but still is far from the fight. Still has four weeks. He’ll get to the top now. I don’t know about Chuck (Liddell), how is his preparation, but I think Shogun is very talented and well trained, it’s hard to be beat…everybody says that, but I ton’t think that the fight with Coleman was bad. It was a very intense fight, maybe he got tired more, but I think he fought well. He got tired, that’s normal. People forget that Coleman fought with Fedor (Emelianenko– #1 heavyweight in the world) some time ago and had a great fight, he’s very tough…It’s not because he’s 45 that you have to go there and kill him.”
Shogun is now training with two of the top Brazilian wrestlers, Renato Roma (5-time Brazilian wrestling champion) and Denis Vieira (7-time Brazilian wrestling champion). This is what Vieira had to say regarding Shogun’s training:
“He doesn’t have to respect any opponent (Chuck Liddell). He’s much more prepared than his opponent. He has to abuse of what he’s learning now. Everybody says that Chuck Liddell doesn’t go down, but he will. You’ll see it in the fight…If he keeps it like this, it’ll be hard to put Shogun down.”
The UFC 97 ‘Redemption’ event is scheduled to take place on April 18 at the Centre Bell in Montreal, Canada. Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Thales Leites is headlined as the main event of that fight card.