By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on March 23, 2014
Former light-heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua has had a rollercoaster ride during his UFC career. There have been a number of highs and some lows during a stint that began in 2007. With Rua making his 13th UFC appearance at Fight Night 38 in Brazil, I thought it would be an appropriate time to examine his most memorable Octagon appearances.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.
After two straight losses, Rua made a clear statement that he was back with a devastating effort against Te Huna at Fight Night 33 in Australia. “Shogun” produced one of the more devastating knockouts of 2013 in blasting out Te Huna in just 63 seconds with a beautifully timed left hook.
Rua gained revenge on a fellow former light-heavyweight champion at UFC 134 in Brazil. After surprisingly being submitted by Griffin in his UFC debut, “Shogun” blitzed Griffin with a hard right-hand and a series of hammer fists to get the explosive first round stoppage.
Rua added to Liddell’s late career woes by finishing the former light-heavyweight champion at UFC 97 in Montreal. Rua landed a tremendous left hook to Liddell’s jaw that sent the “Iceman” to the canvas and followed up with a brutal series of ground and pound strikes to produce the first round finish.
Many fans thought Rua got a raw deal in a controversial decision loss against Machida in their previous title fight at UFC 104 and “Shogun” was determined to not allow their rematch to go to the scorecards. He ended Machida’s reign as light-heavyweight champion in emphatic fashion at UFC 113. Rua solved the puzzle of “The Dragon” by rendering him senseless with a right hand and follow up ground and pound strikes in the first round to claim gold.
Rua showed incredible resolve and courage in surviving a blistering Henderson attack in the early rounds of their memorable encounter in San Jose. His tremendous comeback in the fourth and fifth rounds truly made this bout at UFC 139 one of the most epic clashes in Octagon history. Despite the valiant effort by a bloody and battered Rua, it was “Hendo” emerging with the hard-fought decision victory.
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