Shogun Rua vs. Anderson Silva: Who would win?
In my opinion, Anderson Silva and Mauricio Rua are two of the most devastating Muay Thai practitioners in all of MMA. However, due to the current "pound-for-pound" debate, Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre is the matchup that everyone is clamouring for. In my opinion, Silva vs. Shogun has the potential to be even better.
Make no mistake, both men are well-rounded, although their strong suit is definitely in their striking. Both fighters originated from the infamous Chute Boxe Academy, which is notorious for its gym wars.
Both men use their striking to great effect but in different ways. Shogun's striking is emphasised by his nonstop aggression and relentless attack, whereas Silva is simply an amazing counter-striker and ring tactician; a great example of this would be his fight against Griffin.
In my opinion, Silva has the more technical striking, but Shogun more than makes up for any technical deficiencies with his tremendous power.
Both men are very well versed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and both hold a black belt in the noble art. Although only having one submission victory, Shogun is active and energetic from his back, constantly looking to sweep or scramble.
Silva's long limbs complement his BJJ and make for great triangle chokes and also allow him to control his opponent with a body triangle. In fact, his limbs are long enough for him to perform a body triangle from the bottom position. Both men have been submitted before, although those defeats were a long time ago.
I think there is no doubt that Shogun is the more powerful fighter. If you want more proof, go and watch his first-round drubbings of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Silva's training partner, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida. The Rampage fight is an excellent example of Shogun's power; Rampage, despite his incredible strength, was utterly decimated and tossed around like a rag doll in Rua's clinch. Although Silva has good power, most of it comes from his excellent technique rather than his physicality.
Anderson Silva is tremendously fast. If you want a good example, then watch any of Silva's fights in the Octagon. Silva's speed is just on another level from almost anyone in the sport.
Both men can obviously dish out the punishment, but just how well can they take it? I think that Rua and Silva have two of the best jaws in the sport today. Both men have taken their fair share of shots, and both men have come back to answer. Fights in which their chins were tested include Shogun vs. Little Nog and Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen.
This is a very even matchup, and I think it would be an absolute war. I think that Silva would have early success in the fight, although Shogun would use awesome leg kicks to stifle Silva's movement. Eventually, Rua will wear him down to force a late stoppage victory.
Outcome: Shogun via fourth round TKO