Shogun Rua Misses Soccer Kicks, Feels Elbows Are More Dangerous


Pride FC legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua will likely fight to decide his future in the sport, as he faces James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night Brisbane on Decemner 7th. The bout will be crucial for Rua’s future as he is on a three fight skid and has dropped four of his last six.

One reason behind Rua’s bad streak in the UFC could be a few long lasting injuries, although you could attribute the adjustments between Pride and UFC rules that ‘Shogun’ has made to his decline.

“For sure, the new rules hinder me,” Rua recently said to “I think that the rule set from when I fought in Japan was safer than today’s rules. Elbows hurt a lot more than stomps. I had adapted to their rules. So when I came to the UFC, to get comfortable, it took some time. And, truthfully, my fight style relied greatly on stomps and soccer kicks. So to me, the greatest minus when coming to the UFC was the change in rules.”

Although he was the UFC 205lb. Champion after going 3-2 in the UFC, his first defence didn’t go so well. He was smashed by Jon Jones and hasn’t looked the same since. An argument against the use of head stomps could be how brutal it looks, although you could argue that elbows are a lot more nasty.

Rua’s stomps and kicks were a speciality of the Chute Box Academy where he trained, Wanderlei Silva was also a great example of a guy who would ruin you with soccer kicks.

“I hope that one day, the UFC can legalize foot stomps and soccer kicks,” he said. “It would be great. I miss it. During the PRIDE era, I have no recollection of anyone getting hurt badly from stomps or soccer kicks. Elbows, in truth, really do hurt an opponent.”

I really would like to see Rua get a win against Te Huna, but surely going back to a Japanese organization would allow Rua to go back to his roots. If he loses at Fight Night 33, it may well mean that to continue fighting Rua must find a new home elsewhere.

It would be a great shame to lose a fighter with such huge potential from the big leagues, but he admits that his style for many years relied on stomps and soccer kicks. The reality is that the UFC is unlikely to ever consider allowing these moves to be used, but if they did; would Shogun have had any more success?

  • Jon Jones would have made an even bigger mess of him if those rules were in when they fought. Bad idea.

    • That is not true. Bones' biggest weapon by FAR are his elbows. What planet have you been on? Imagine if elbows were banned in any of his fights. He would not be nearly as dominant as he is.

    • yea im sure soccer kicks and stomps from Jon's chicken legs would be deadly.

  • meh its not even an argument soccer kicks are lethal..just ask rampage

  • I can't believe Shogun didn't enjoy Bones elbows….But if he would prefer Bones soccer kicks and head stomps I'm sure we can arrange a rematch to test his theory

  • Who am I to argue with Shogun on which hurts more, I'll have to take his word for it. What I do know for sure is that soccer look way more dangerous.

  • I wonder if the guys he soccer kicked miss the soccer kicks?

  • D

    He's just wrong about this. The type of power you can generate with an elbow will never come close to what can be delivered with a stomp or a soccer kick.

    Elbows lead to more cuts, but cuts heal. Brain damage…not so much.

    • He is not the one who is wrong.

      Yes, stomps generate more power, but they also impact a much bigger area than elbows do. Sharp elbow surface area is small and nasty. Mathematically:

      Pressure = Force / Area

      Let's say:
      Elbow contact area ~ 1cm2
      Footstomp contact area ~ 10cm2

      You would have to generate roughly 10X more force with your foot to match an elbow. Elbows are NASTY because they are sharp, i.e., lots of damage, cuts, bones breaking, etc…

      Besides, I think Shogun knows much better than you or I..

      • D

        Pressure is a good measurement for what would cause a cut (like I said in the first place)

        However, it is not the right measurement for what would cause a bone to break…that would be shear stress, which is also force/area, but the area being described would be the cross-sectional area of the bone taking the force (the surface area of what is striking the bone is irrelevant).

        I'm assuming you didn't follow, so lets use an analogy. You can generate a tremendous amount of pressure with the point of a needle, and easily break someone's skin. You won't break a bone with it though. You can generate a tremendous amount of force with a sledge hammer, and could easily break a bone without breaking the skin.

        The issue I was really getting at was concussions, which again, are a function of total force applied to the skull and transferred to the brain (again, pressure is irrelevant). A strike to the head causes the skull to move, and the brain to strike the skull. Because the force is transferred through the skull to the brain, the surface area of the strike does not matter. Elbows, like you said, generate a ton of pressure, often causing cuts, but rarely causing KO's. A stomp or a slam will generate far more force, resulting in a nasty KO, but probably not a cut.

        • "Pressure is a good measurement for what would cause a cut (like I said in the first place)"

          Wrong again. Bone fractures can be caused by compression, tension, OR shearing; directly proportional to the applied pressure. Elbows break bones man (e.g., Bones v Vera). Pressure is precisely what breaks both skin and bones. To touch on your analogy, put a needle at the end of the sledgehammer, and tell me it doesn't puncture/break the bone.

          To your point on concussions, I concede foot stomps are more likely to cause concussions than an elbow is, but it is directly related to surface area. Whereas an elbow will crack your skull (small surface area, bone breaks), a foot stomp (larger area) is less likely to break a bone, and as you stated will transfer all the momentum into your brain.

          So from a brain damage point of view, you, sir, are correct.

      • D

        Shogun is a fighter, not a biomechanics expert, physicist, or doctor. He is also clearly biased, since he used footstomps and soccer kicks to his advantage in Pride, and is no longer able to do so.

        • Let face it, the human skull was never designed to take elbows, soccer kicks or stomps…But somehwere along the line we turned it into a sport. I have always been a fan of boxing because once a guy takes a heavy blow he gets a ten count and the opportunity to bow out….When a guy is semi conscious getting soccer kicked to the jaw, thats not sport thats brutality. I don't even like elbows to grounded opponents…I prefer the elbows thrown only in standup combat like Muay Thai….A stronger person holding another down and landing elbows is not sophisticated. Sophistication is footwork, angles, combinations

        • Sometimes practice is better than theory.

  • displacement(distance) velocity(speed) and weight of the limb given to a static object( head) make a kick to the head, especially with a hard bone like the shin, a much much more devastating strike. Elbows may cut but a muay thai fighter can break a baseball bat in half. The concussive force is not even comparable.

  • Shogun needs to understand that the UFC rules are there for a reason and that is……to favor wrestlers of course… is a business and the US is the biggest market by far so they need American Champions…GSP is the only non American that got the memo on wrestling….if they was not the case they would allow kicks from guard….those are much less damaging than soccer kicks or elbows from top position but they would change the dynamics of top control in favor of the guy in the bottom….they also recently changed the rules so TTD does not count and take down attempts counts as aggression…short rounds also favors taking down and stalling for points… is a miracle for a non wrestler to be Champ under those rules…..

  • @Enjoy…boxing is far more damaging to the athlete than MMA….the standing 10 count is a crime to the human brain…..guys ate getting KOed multiple times in a single boxing match…..very brutal long term damage to the brain as it gets pushed around inside the skull.