(photo taken from ufc.com)
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Mark Coleman made their long-awaited MMA comebacks this past Saturday night at the UFC 93 'Franklin vs. Henderson' event. Coleman's last bout was an armbar submission loss to Fedor Emelianenko in October of 2006. 2 years and 3 months later, Coleman returned to the UFC octagon to fight Shogun in a rematch bout. The first time they met was back in February of 2006 at Pride 31. Coleman claimed victory after only 49 seconds of the first round. Apparently, Shogun suffered a dislocated elbow during a takedown and could not continue to fight.
The highly anticipated bout turned out to be a battle of conditioning for both fighters. Within the first round of their second match, Coleman looked extremely exhaused by the third minute. His gas tank seemed completely depleted at that point, but the former UFC heavyweight champion kept the pace going as he showed tremendous heart.
As for Shogun, his last fight was a rear-naked choke loss to Forrest Griffin back in September of 2007 at UFC 76. After battling through injuries and not fighting for almost a year and a half, Shogun looked visually tired as well. He had plenty of opportunities to finish the fight, especially in the first round. However, his main problem was the poor cardio he portrayed throughout the fight.
Coleman and Rua explained their reasons regarding their conditioning during the UFC 93 post-fight press conference…
Mark "The Hammer" Coleman:
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua:
surgeries. That is not easy, and that took a lot of my conditioning.
It's one thing to train and another thing to fight. When you get back
to fighting, you have to get back your rhythm. I paid a price for
that, but I'm sure that by my next fight, I'll be more prepared and in
better shape, with better conditioning, to give my fans a great show."