Mauricio Rua and Chael Sonnen will tangle this Saturday in the main event of UFC on Fox Sports 1 at the TD Garden in Boston. This fight does not have any immediate title implications as both fighters are coming off losses, and Sonnen just fought for the title against champion Jon Jones in his last outing in the UFC Octagon.
Nevertheless, your last fight is always the most important of your career and the freshest in the minds of fans watching across the globe. So this duel is pivotal to both light heavyweight combatants and requires a detailed look as to who will come out the victor. Here’s breakdown of this five-round contest.
In terms of kickboxing, Rua is the superior striker of the two. Sure, Sonnen has come a long way in his striking and has excelled in this area of combat due to the fact that he’s a diligent worker and seems to have little to no fear in caged competition. Nevertheless, Rua will have a clear advantage in the standing position. The longer the feet is on the feet, the more chances he has to win.
Shogun has some crafty trip takedowns in his game, but there’s no doubt that Sonnen is the better wrestler and his game will be to take the fight to the floor. Ground and pound is the name of Sonnen’s game, and his success in the UFC has been based on this concept. Sonnen needs to get takedowns to win.
Sonnen’s BJJ has come a long way, and he has a strong arm-triangle choke from and great guard passing. He was able to pass the guards of experienced vets such as Anderson Silva, Brian Stann and Michael Bisping. Rua has a solid BJJ game, but is more content on knocking his opponents out with fists, knees, and kicks. Back in the day in Pride, he had a soft spot for soccer kicks and stomps; but in this fight, it’s striking and ground-and-pound that will matter most. Nobody will get tapped out.
Edge: N/A, Even
Shogun has faded in five-round fights, and sometimes in three rounders. That isn’t to say that he will in this fight, but we can only base our predictions on history. Sonnen doesn’t really fade much, even in five-round battles. His cardio should be strong in this 25-minute duel.
If Shogun wins, it’ll be via KO in the first half of the fight. If Sonnen can survive the strikes on the feet, then he will go on to win via ground-and-pound decision. He will probably take three or possibly four rounds on the judges’ scorecards.