Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua: Soccer Kicks Are Safer Than Elbows on the Ground

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Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua: Soccer Kicks Are Safer Than Elbows on the Ground
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua would like to see soccer kicks made legal inside the Octagon, especially since, in his opinion, they are safer than elbows on the ground. 

"Shogun" said as much in a recent interview with MMA Junkie

“For sure, the new rules hinder me,” Rua recently said. “I think that the rule set from when I fought in Japan was safer than today’s rules. Elbows hurt a lot more than stomps. I had adapted to their rules. So when I came to the UFC, to get comfortable, it took some time. And, truthfully, my fight style relied greatly on stomps and soccer kicks. So to me, the greatest minus when coming to the UFC was the change in rules ... I hope that one day, the UFC can legalize foot stomps and soccer kicks,” he said. “It would be great. I miss it. During the PRIDE era, I have no recollection of anyone getting hurt badly from stomps or soccer kicks. Elbows, in truth, really do hurt an opponent

The hard-hitting Brazilian compiled a solid 12-1 mark inside the Pride ring over a roughly four-year span before the UFC signed Rua in July 2007. 

Half of those wins incorporated either soccer kicks or stomps, so clearly those attacks were a big part of the 32-year-old's repertoire.

Rua has unarguably struggled inside the Octagon, posting a 5-6 record in 11 fights.

As a matter of fact, it's been most downhill for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt since capturing UFC gold, going just 2-4 since March 2011—the skid began when he lost the belt to current champ Jon Jones at UFC 128. 

Rua looks to get back on the winning track at UFC Fight Night 33, which takes place on December 7, when he faces off with James Te-Huna.

After that bout is in the books, the former Pride Middleweight Grand Prix winner is seriously contemplating a drop to 185 pounds, per MMA Mania

Would the UFC ever consider adopting Pride rules after 20 years of using their own set of regulations?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for

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