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Strengths: Striking, top grappling and chin
Weaknesses: Age, wear and tear
Next opponent: Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 5
Mauricio Rua is a legend in the sport of mixed martial arts for many reasons. He is a Pride legend, his striking is outstanding, he can take a punch like a champion and he is an all-around beast in the sport.
Rua's Muay Thai skills are scary good—his kicks are lethal, his punches jaw-rattling.
His top game when grappling from the top position is also completely underrated. The jiu-jitsu black belt has vicious ground and pound, as well as surprising submissions.
Plus, his chin is top notch. If you don't believe me, go back and watch his fight with Dan Henderson. He took some of Henderson's biggest punches and stayed alive, which is a feat in itself.
Rua will continue to struggle against Father Time. Rua may only be 30 years old, but it is a very old 30 years. The wear and tear that his body has taken in this sport has resulted in several knee surgeries and long layoffs.
Let me tell you one thing: knee surgeries are never good for an athlete in any sport, especially one where your legs get kicked in training and competition.
The ten-year veteran may be young in years, but he does not have much time left. His body won't be able to deal with this forever.