There have definitely been signs of a career decline for former UFC light-heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The MMA legend will be looking to end a two-fight losing skid and retain his top-10 status when he battles James Te Huna at Fight Night 33 in Australia.
Rua was most recently submitted in the first round by Chael Sonnen at Fight Night 26, and has dropped three of his last four contests. While he’s compiled a 21-8 record in a storied career that began at an early age back in 2002, he is just 5-6 inside the Octagon. He’s been troubled by knee injuries in recent times and really hasn’t been the same fighter since his incredible war with Dan Henderson at UFC 139.
Rua has always showcased an iron chin, and he’ll need it against the hard-hitting Te Huna. Te Huna gets an incredible career opportunity with this high-profile matchup, The New Zealand native should have plenty of crowd support as well, as he now fights out of Sydney, Australia.
He’s looking to get back on track after being submitted by Glover Teixeira at UFC 160. That loss snapped a four-fight win streak. Te Huna has been vulnerable in that department with five of his six career losses having been by submission. He does possess plenty of power with 10 knockouts to his credit in 16 career victories, and has never been knocked out.
Both fighters believe this matchup will be an entertaining affair, and the result will certainly have big-time ramifications. If Rua is successful, he should be able to continue with high-profile fights at either 205 pounds or maybe even consider a move to middleweight.
If Te Huna pulls off the victory, it would undoubtedly be the biggest win of his career and would likely catapult him into the top-10 light heavyweight rankings. A Te Huna win could also very likely be the end of Rua’s remarkable career.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports