As soon as we saw Mauricio “Shogun” Rua catch James Te Huna flush on the chin, we heard one of the announcers scream “Shogun is back.” That statement is not necessarily true. Shogun caught Te Huna the same way Matt Serra caught Georges St. Pierre all those years ago. Serra is no longer competing in the UFC. Anyone can “catch” anyone on any given night in MMA.
MMA is a sport where people tend to have a short memory. Rua is 2-3 in his last five fights in the Octagon and 5-5 in his last 10 outings. He had a terrible performance in a win against the lesser-skilled Brandon Vera and was dominated by Chael Sonnen in their fight.
The fact is no one can say Shogun is back until we see him fight in a battle. That is no knock against Shogun, but the victory over Te Huna doesn’t mean he has returned to being the Shogun of old. The one thing we can say is that Shogun still has knockout power, which was never a topic of debate.
Te Huna is a game fighter against anyone, but a victory over him isn’t as impressive as a win over some of the other fighters in the UFC. Shogun needs to be placed against someone else in the light heavyweight division that will truly show if he can transform back into the Shogun of old.
Shogun should be matched up against Ryan Bader in his next outing. Bader showed he could dominate the lower half of the light heavyweight division Friday when he defeated Anthony Perosh. A fight with Bader could show the world just how much Shogun has returned to his old form.