3 Improvements Chael Sonnen Needs to Make to Defeat Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua

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3 Improvements Chael Sonnen Needs to Make to Defeat Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

On Saturday, August 17, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 26, Chael Sonnen will face former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Irrespective of the outcome, Sonnen is set to return to the middleweight division thereafter. However, a win over a name opponent in Rua would raise the Oregon native’s stock and snap his two-fight losing streak.

Nevertheless, deficiencies in Sonnen’s game have sabotaged his last four championship outings. Throughout the former NCAA Division I wrestler’s career, his shortcomings with respect to striking and submission defense have been repeatedly exposed. Sonnen’s inability to enhance his game in these areas has led other mixed martial artists to question the “American Gangster’s” heart.

Unfortunately for Sonnen, his weaknesses play to his opponent’s strengths. Rua is a world-class striker, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and is renowned for his heart and in-Octagon wars. At UFC Fight Night 26, major adjustments need to be made to Sonnen’s game in order to defeat his opponent and former two-time world champion in Rua.  

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