Mauricio “Shogun” Rua had a recent interview with GracieMag.com regarding his upcoming 205-pound title fight against current UFC champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. Although he understands the difficult training process he has ahead of him in the next few months, Shogun is ready to do what it takes to take home the win.
Shogun is coming into this UFC light heavyweight championship bout with two consecutive TKO wins over former UFC champions Mark “The Hammer” Coleman and Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. His only UFC loss came during his octagon debut against former 205-pound champion Forrest Griffin back in September of 2007 at UFC 76. Shogun plans to acquire vengeance sometime down the road, but all he’s thinking about now is his first UFC title shot against Machida at UFC 104 on October 24th, 2009.
Mauricio Shogun Interview:
How did you feel about getting a shot at the title so quickly?
I was really happy about the title challenge. When Dana White told me I was really happy. Lyoto’s my friend, we train together. We’ve been in contact but there’s no way to turn down the fight.
Is there anyone you would never face?
The only guy I’ve said I would never face is Wanderlei (Silva). He is my true friend and I have a special affection for him.
After facing three tough guys (Forrest Griffin, Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell), now you have this shot at the title. Would you rather do a few more fights and better adapt to the event?
The one who decides whether the fight is for the belt is Dana White. When I joined the UFC, there already was the perspective of a shot at the belt soon, for what I had shown in Pride. Against Coleman I didn’t fight that great, but against Liddell I did well. That’s what Dana White had to work with. I’m new in the house, but I have experience and I’m happy for the opportunity.
For the second time in the organization there’s an all-Brazilian title challenge, the other being between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites. How important is that?
It shows how strong Brazil is in MMA. I believe that, after soccer, MMA is the sport that best represents Brazil abroad. And we are very well represented, because we really sport the jersey. I’m certain the athletes fight for the country. Brazil is still needy of heroes in sport and it’s great motivation. We’re out there to represent Brazil.
What do you think of Lyoto?
Lyoto is a well-rounded fighter, good standing,on the ground and has good wrestling. He’s the man to beat, undefeated and has shown his worth. I repect him, but I’m going to train a lot to come home with the win.
Would you like to send a message out to your fans?
I can’t promise victory, but I guarantee I’ll do my all to represent our country, my team and my state. I would like to thank all my fans and tell them they are my greatest motivation in training every day.