UFC 128 Fight Card: Shogun Rua Is Full of PRIDE, Power Ranking His 13 Fights
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua went an incredible 12-1 in PRIDE Fighting Championships.
Transforming from "rising star" to bonafide "legend", Shogun blazed a trail through PRIDE that will be forever remembered in fighting history.
A wizard on the ground and devastating on the feet, Shogun was a prodigy amongst contemporary mixed martial artists.
PRIDE rules were a little different than UFC rules, especially in that you could kick or knee the head of a grounded opponent.
Shogun was one of the few people famous for utilizing these rules to their maximum potential with devastating soccer kicks and stomps.
Not just a technical specialist, however, Shogun endeared himself to fans with his indomitable spirit and relentless pace.
13. Shogun vs Mark Coleman
The only loss of Shogun's PRIDE career.
After only 49 seconds of fighting, Coleman landed a takedown on Rua that ended the fight.
Rua outstretched his arm to break his fall, and the impact forced his arm to break and unnaturally angle at the elbow joint.
The freak injury was an unsatisfactory ending to a promising clash.
12. Shogun vs Kazuhiro Nakamura
Shogun's battle with Nakamura was one of only two fights in Shogun's PRIDE career to end in a decision (or even go past the first round).
Kazuhiro Nakamura was a stalwart in the PRIDE organization, taking on the world's elite and earning a record of 11-6.
Defeating Nakamura puts Rua in good company as the only other men to defeat Nakamura in PRIDE were fellow legends Josh Barnett, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, and Rogerio Nogueira twice.
11. Shogun vs Akira Shoji
Shogun fought Akira Shoji in his very first PRIDE appearance.
It was clear from the opening bell that Shoji could not keep pace with the rising star of Shogun.
After 3:47 in the first round, Shogun won via TKO. He used knees and punches to batter his opponent and finished with a stomp that put an exclamation point on the fight and indicated things to come.
10. Shogun vs Yasuhito Namekawa
In Shogun's third PRIDE fight, Namekawa realized that trying to stand and trade with Shogun would be a bad idea.
Although about the same size and Rua, Namekawa found himself being outgrappled by Shogun.
Showing heart, but unable to mount offense, Namekawa absorbed blow after blow before finally being put totally down and out at 3:37 of the first round.
9. Shogun vs Akihiro Gono
Veteran Akihiro Gono almost made it to the second round against Shogun.
He survived just over nine straight minutes, fighting through huge shots along the way, before eventually crumbling to his hands and knees.
Once on his hands and knees, Shogun delivered a brutal soccer kick to Gono's face that ended the fight in violent and emphatic fashion.
8. Shogun vs Hiromitsu Kanehara
Shogun finished Hiromitsu Kanehara at 1:40 of the first round in one of the best displays of effective use of stomps and soccer kicks in PRIDE history.
Kanehara could not find any space, as Rua stayed in his face and gave him no room to recover.
Once knocked down, Kanehara would not be allowed back in the fight. Shogun swarmed and punished Kanehara before finishing with one of his patented soccer kicks.
7. Shogun vs Cyrille Diabate
Veteran MMA fighter and kickboxing champion Cyrille Diabate was one of the few PRIDE stars who could compete with Shogun on the feet.
Once the fight went to the ground, however, it was a whole different ball game.
Diabate squirmed as Shogun peppered him with stomps and hammerfists.
One last stomp left Diabate defeated and turtled on the canvas.
6. Shogun vs Kevin Randleman
Kevin Randleman, a powerful wrestler and former heavyweight champion, knew his best chance to defeat Rua was taking him to the ground.
Shogun proved to be too crafty for the veteran as he used beautiful technique to secure his only submission victory in PRIDE.
The finishing move was a painfully deep kneebar that left Kevin "The Monster" Randleman yelling out in pain.
5. Shogun vs Alistair Overeem I
When kickboxer Alistair Overeem first met Shogun, he had a decent submission game, but his grappling simply was not up to the level of Mauricio Rua.
Shogun kept Overeem where he wanted on the mat, landed strong punches and knees on the ground and eventually transitioned to the full mount position.
Once he got mounted, Overeem had no chance of escape. Rua landed punch after punch before the referee came in and ended the fight to prevent the helpless Overeem from taking more abuse.
4. Shogun vs Overeem 2
In Shogun's final fight in PRIDE, Alistair Overeem got his chance at revenge.
Instead of revenge, Overeem got knocked out even quicker than he was before.
Shogun dove multiple times into Overeem's guard with massive over-hand right punches.
The final shot landed cleanly, as Shogun then bounced Overeem's senseless head off the canvas with a couple more shots before the referee was able to jump in.
3. Shogun vs Rogerio Nogueira
Shogun battled Rogerio Nogueria (little 'Nog) in one of the most famous wars in PRIDE history.
Two of the most well-rounded and durable fighters to grace the PRIDE ring, Nogueira and Shogun exchanged back and forth with each man putting the other in danger.
Ultimately, Shogun was awarded the unanimous decision victory for controlling the fight with takedowns and furious pace.
2. Shogun vs Quinton Jackson
Shogun's first major step up in competition was against superstar and all-time great Quinton Jackson, and he passed with flying colors.
The two legends collided after the opening bell, and Rua immediately delivered a knee that injured Jackson's ribs.
Jackson fought valiantly for four and a half minutes, but was overwhelmed by a Shogun who could not be denied.
Shogun took Jackson down peg by peg with knees and punches before finishing his grounded adversary with soccer kicks to the head.
1. Shogun vs Ricardo Arona
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua won the PRIDE Middleweight (205 lbs.) Grand Prix in possibly the most dominant and one-sided championship bout in history.
Arona was coming off of a victory over Shogun's friend and mentor, the top-ranked Wanderlei Silva.
As usual, Shogun came out guns blazing.
He took out his championship opponent in less than three minutes, knocking him unconscious with hammerfists on the ground.
Shogun, a rising star no more, was a bonafide legend.
Here is one of the better Shogun highlights.
It goes through his professional fights in chronological order.