Just a few weeks ago, Gegard Mousasi, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, said that he would be interested in fighting former Pride and UFC champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
About the fight, Mousasi said,
That would be a good fight, that would be an exciting fight. He’s the kind of guy who likes to fight. I like to fight guys like him who come to fight instead of fight(ing) to win.
I am 100 percent positive about my abilities to beat anybody, I don’t doubt myself I just have to have my priorities right. I know I can beat anybody.
Let's take a look at a head-to-toe breakdown of these two.
Shogun Rua is known as one of the greatest Muay Thai strikers in MMA history. Gegard Mousasi is a great striker in his own right, with 18 wins by (T)KO and nine knockout wins in boxing.
However, Shogun would hold a definite striking advantage in this fight; at least for the first round.
Edge: Shogun Rua
Both Shogun and Mousasi are well-rounded fighters, although neither is really a grappling-first fighter. Shogun is a black belt in BJJ and Mousasi is a black belt in Judo.
Both are solid grapplers, but neither relies on it much.
As just mentioned, Mousasi is a black belt in Judo and Shogun is a black belt in BJJ. Neither really relies on their grappling or submissions, but these skills are occasionally seen.
Mousasi has eight submission wins in 32 total wins, while Shogun has just one submission win in his career.
Shogun did threaten with leg locks against Alexander Gustafsson in his most recent fight, but Mousasi has used his submissions more effectively throughout his career.
Edge: Gegard Mousasi
We've all seen it before from Shogun. His cardio is fine for a round or two, then he gasses out badly in the third round and beyond.
Mousasi could easily take advantage of that if his gas tank is good.
Edge: Gegard Mousasi
Shogun Rua: Shogun's cardio is always his X-factor. With good cardio, he could be a completely different animal. Unfortunately, he seems to tire in all his fights, which costs him in the long run. A good gas tank would mean a good fight for Shogun.
Gegard Mousasi: Mousasi has one distinct disadvantage when facing off against Shogun: lack of big-fight experience. The biggest fight of Mousasi's career came in Strikeforce. No offense to Strikeforce, but a UFC fight against a legend of the sport would be a whole new level for Mousasi. We don't know if he can handle that pressure yet.
This one may surprise some people, but if this fight happened, I would expect Gegard Mousasi to come out the winner.
Shogun may be only 30 years old, but he's gotten old in the fight game. He is 3-4 in his last seven fights, never stringing together more than one win at a time.
Shogun could win, but I wouldn't expect him to pull it off.
Prediction: Gegard Mousasi wins via unanimous decision.