Mauricio Rua is definitely an elite fighter. Just recently, he was in a dire situation, desperately needing a comeback, thanks to his surprising loss against Forrest Griffin. His next fight was against Lyoto Machida, undefeated LHW champion. He did not disappoint.
The fight was close, but it was fairly obvious to most viewers who would be the winner. Once the fight was finished, Rua raised his arm in triumphant victory. Machida, on the other hand, raised his arm slowly and uncertainly. Much to the surprise of the viewers, Machida was declared winner by the judges.
Fortunately, this was enough of a comeback for Mauricio Rua. People no longer doubted him for the great fighter that he is. Now, most people consider him No. 1 in the LHW division.
How did "Shogun" get this good? Well, let's take a stroll down memory lane and see.
Mauricio Rua started off as any other fighter. He won his first four fights impressively, but then fought the strong and experienced Renato Sobral. The young and inexperienced Rua lost.
However, this really seemed to motivate him. He then went on a rampage, winning eight fights in a row while beating top names such as Akhiro Gono, Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem, and Ricardo Arona. By then he was already considered great.
He was only stopped by Mark Coleman, and that was because of a cheap push to which he fell on his arm, breaking it in the process. This only seemed to make him angrier, for he then TKO'ed somebody by stomps. After that, he beat Kevin Randleman and rematched Alistair Overeem, whom he promptly KO'ed.
Indeed, "Shogun" seemed unstoppable.
Mauricio's next fight was scheduled to be against Forrest Griffin. Unfortunately, he had a knee injury and could not train for the fight very well. He was definitely not 100 percent against Forrest. Forrest is a strong fighter, but not one somebody like Shogun can't handle. Griffin ended up shocking the world, winning by Rear Naked Choke at 4:45 of the third round.
After the fight, people were very skeptical about Rua. He showed up to his rematch against Mark Coleman in bad condition due to his knee problems, but that did not stop him from getting revenge and winning by TKO. Even when Mauricio TKO'ed Chuck Liddel, people still thought that Lyoto Machida was indisputably the best in his division.
That's when Mauricio "Shogun" Rua silenced his critics.
In what is considered to be one of the greatest comebacks of 2009, Mauricio showed that Machida was not unbeatable. He fought well and was the better fighter in general against Machida; and many still don't know what the judges were thinking when they gave Machida the unanimous decision.
He still has many fights ahead of him, and without a doubt, will prove himself many more times. He is Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, the No. 1 LHW.
And you better believe it.