Interview: Mauricio Shogun Talks about Chuck Liddell and his New Gym

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua recently talked about his next fight with Chuck Liddell, which is scheduled for June of 2008.  He discusses how his intense training is going over at the new gym he is organizing (Universidade da Luta) with his brother Murilo Rua, Andre Dida Mauricio
Veio and many more.

Here’s the interview with Mauricio Shogun:

What did you think about Chuck Liddell as
your next opponent?

I think that was a great choice. Liddell is a
great fighter and it’s a good fight for me because…

he is a very famous guy in


Liddell is a tough guy, hard to defeat, but I think that there are no easy
fights in my weight division. I’ll go straight up over him and I’ll give a
great show to my fans.

You were going to fight before in an earlier UFC event, but the schedule
was changed for you to face Liddell. The UFC asked you to fight in this event
to face Liddell and due to this you’ll fight in June?

That was it. Before I was scheduled to fight in April,
but suddenly they called me to offer this fight and I was like "nice, very
happy with that!"

Liddell is one of the top fighters in the weight division, a very
respected former champion. Do you believe that a victory over him will put you
back at the top of the ranking and you’ll be able to fight for the UFC belt?

I’m sure of that. A victory over him will give me an
"upgrade," but I’m not thinking about the belt — I’m thinking of
Liddell. He is a complete fighter, very tough and on top of the category. He
deserves a lot of respect. So, I don’t have to think about the belt before this
fight against him. I’m thinking of him as a tough opponent that will be in my
way, not the belt.

You started 2008 creating a new team. What are your plans for this year?

In 2008 my goal is to train even more. Now I’m
establishing my team along with my brother Murilo Rua, Andre Dida and Mauricio
Veio. I’m working on my cardio with Alejo Morales in the afternoon, and I train
Muay Thai and BJJ at night.

Tell us about your new team’s structure.

We are a close partnership with me, my brother, Veio
and Dida, along with Hercilio, a businessman who will invest in our gym and
manage the athletes. For sure it will be a perfect partnership because we will
have great athletes. I just want to train more and more. I’m actually not
worried about the organization because this is Hercilio’s job. My only concern
is the training.

Are there other known fighters in addition to you four?

We have a lot of fighters, but we will only announce
their names after the opening, which I’m expecting to be right after Carnival.
Our gym will have the largest mat in



Who will be the coaches?

The physical conditioning is under Alejo Morales. We
worked with him before, and for sure he is a top professional here in


. Muay
Thai will be taught by Mauricio Veio, a great professional in this area. About
the BJJ, we are discussing who will be the coach. We will look for a very
qualified person in this area; this is the only thing missing at our gym.

Are you worried about losing the quality of your training and sparring,
because now you don’t have all of the people you used to train with at Chute

Well, I’ve been back to training only for a few weeks,
but I’m training more than ever. I’m working a lot on cardio and jiu-jitsu. In
Muay Thai we have 15 athletes, and the training is as good as was at Chute
Boxe. I can guarantee you that.

Wanderlei Silva also left Chute Boxe last year. How is your relationship
with him?

Wanderlei is a good friend of mine. He was here in
Curitiba and called me. We talked for a while, and the doors of our team will
always be open to him. Like he said, that his gym’s doors will be open for us.

What do you think about his fight against Chuck Liddell?

I talked to him about that fight, and we have the same
opinion: He trained a lot, but he didn’t have much sparring. I think this fact
warmed him a lot.

And how about your brother? What does Murilo Rua have ahead for him in

He will fight in March, probably for Cage Rage’s title.
For sure he will bring this belt to us, if God wishes. My brother is in his
prime, and soon he will be among the top.

2008 must bring a lot of new things to your career. What can your fans
expect this year?

I want to say to my fans to be calm, keep believing and
supporting me. I live for the fight. I’m 100 percent focused on fighting. I
wouldn’t leave Chute Boxe without having a structure like I have. So I want my
fans to keep supporting me, sending me good thoughts. Because for sure my
greatest motivation to fight is my fans, to pay them back all the affection
they give me.

(props to

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