Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has battled extreme inconsistency ever since making his way to the Octagon after a wildly successful run in Pride.
Failing to win two straight UFC bouts, Rua had another opportunity to do just that in his main event rematch against Dan Henderson at last night’s (Sun., March 23, 20140 UFC Fight Night 38 from Natal, Brazil.
And for two rounds, it looked like he finally would. Nailing Henderson with a first round flurry that nearly had “Hendo” finished and a second round uppercut that dropped him like a sack of TRT-infused potatoes, “Shogun” looked to be by far the more technical, faster, and more powerful striker.
Then came the third round, however.
“Hendo” unleashed a devastating right hook that caught “Shogun” flush, knocking him silly and breaking his nose in the process. It was an epic come-from-behind victory that somehow lived up to the massive precedent set by the fighters’ UFC 139 classic.
But for “Shogun,” however, things aren’t looking so good. The Brazilian kickboxer is headed home today to have surgery on his broken nose according to FOX Sports. The break will reportedly take several weeks to heal up.
In the meantime, “Shogun” tweeted his congratulations to “Hendo,” thanks to his fans and sponsors, and a message stating that he’s in pain but glad to be spending time with his family:
Thanks to all the fans and my sponsors for the support, and to @danhendo for the fight. He is a legend. I did my best (continues)— Shogun Rua (@ShogunRua) March 24, 2014
I guess that's what makes MMA exciting, but losing hurts a lot. Now I want to enjoy my wife and daughters for a while. Tks for all the msgs!— Shogun Rua (@ShogunRua) March 24, 2014
There’s no doubt that Rua is one of the most exciting warriors that MMA has ever seen, but his inconsistent results are preventing him from being one of the Octagon’s true legends. He’s taken an insane amount of punishment for a fighter his age, and now faces a long road back to any true relevancy.
Casual and hardcore MMA fans alike can’t help but applaud “Shogun’s” style, even in a losing effort. Here’s to hoping that the Muay Thai expert makes it back to the cage sooner than later.