Since losing the UFC light heavyweight title to Jon Jones at UFC 128, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua has been making some adjustments to his overall game. The Brazilian recently reunited with his former coach, Rafael Cordeiro, to train at Kings MMA in the United States.
While the loss is only the fifth of his career, Rua recognized the mistakes in his bout with Jones and he credits the 23-year-old for the win.
"It's difficult landing a hit on him and to close the distance," Rua told Sensei Sportv, courtesy of FightersOnly.co.uk.
"He's a young man who didn't lose yet, he is well-rounded and very good in wrestling."
At one time, Rua was considered by many to be the best light-heavyweight fighter in the world. However since debuting for the UFC in 2007, the Brazilian hasn't quite lived up to fans' expectations due to recurring injuries.
Rua entered his bout with Jones after sustaining a knee injury that kept him out of action for nearly a year.
But after reflecting on his recent loss, "Shogun" said he has understood the meaning behind the defeat and is motivated to meet the current champion again in the future.
"I don't make excuses for my losses. Instead, I use them as motivation, as a mistake I made," he said.
In hopes of reclaiming the title, Rua is slated to face Forrest Griffin this summer at UFC Rio. Griffin and Rua met previously at UFC 76; Griffin walked away with the win.
To avenge his loss from Griffin, Rua knows what's fans will expect of him.
"They know I always look for the submission or knockout. I'm going to be all over him.”