Shogun admits going to the ground may not be the best strategy with Machida

lyoto_machida-025On October 24 the least hit fighter in the history of the Octagon may be up against the most challenging stylistic match-up he has ever faced up until this point in his career.

UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is set to defend his newly obtained championship for the first time when he faces off with a fellow Brazilian, and former training partner in Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 104.

Rua’s strengths in such a wide aspect of areas in the cage make him a legitimate threat to a champion many believe has no peers at 205 pounds.

Shogun is a strong wrestler. While not as technical as some of Machida’s previous opponents such as Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans on paper, Mauricio combines his punishing stand-up attack with explosive takedowns to keep his opponents guessing.

Throw in the challenger’s vast and indisputably dangerous submission arsenal, and you have a fighter with the skill-set that the elusive “Dragon” has yet to encounter up to this point in his fifteen fight career.

While both men are widely considered to be among the best fighters competing in the sport, the two couldn’t be any more opposite stylistically. Defensive fighter vs. offensive fighter. Something Rua confessed to being fully aware of in a recent interview with our friends at Tatame.com.

“He comes from the Karate school and I come from the Muay Thai school, but he’s an athlete who gives a lot of knee blows, plenty Muay Thai blows also, which he improved well,” explained Shogun. “I think the big difference is that he likes to fight in counter punching, and I’m the opposite, I like to go inside”

Tito Ortiz had Machida in more trouble than ever before in his mixed martial arts career and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has never been known for his submissions. It’s that exact viewpoint that has left many fans speculating about the possibility of Shogun being able to submit Lyoto should the fight go to the canvas. However, according to Rua the two are far from strangers and even he doesn’t expect things to be as easy as many may believe come fight night.

“He’s a very complete man; good standing, good on the ground, and good in wrestling,” said Mauricio. “Actually, people say that if I take the fight to the ground I’ll win, but it isn’t like that. He’s very good on the ground. I’ve trained with him, and sometimes that isn’t the solution. Staying on top in the fight may be an advantage, but I have to see it right so that I don’t make the wrong strategy”

53 COMMENTS
  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I think stunning Lyoto in the stand-up and going for an explosive take-down would be a good idea. I still think about that Ortiz fight; That sh!t was crazy. I never thought I’d see Ortiz go for a triangle…. Funny thing is, he damn near had it!

    Lyoto is a hard guy to prepare for, if not the hardest. You’re facing a completely different guy each time. He could counter the whole fight, frustrate you and take you to decision, or he could just up and explode and knock you out. The guy is surreal sometimes.

    I used to HATE Lyoto Machida, but I have a completely new found respect for him after the Thiago and Rashad fights. This is hard to pick, plain and simple.

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  • MMAsubb says:

    agreed, Machida, IMO is possibly the most difficult person to train for in MMA.

    Rua needs to use his head in this fight more than anything. If he can he needs to utilize those Thai leg kicks early to possibly slow Machida down and make him slightly less elusive, and then possibly put a clinch situation to good use.

    “and I’m the opposite, I like to go inside” I think this might be a BAD idea against Machida. First off, getting there can be devastating. Rashad got destroyed getting close enough to use his lightning fast hooks.

    Either way, we are in for a treat with this one, should be a GREAT war!

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Agreed, x2!

    This is actually a LHW bout I can get excited about! With them being training partners in the past though, I wonder how this will affect the outcome. I honestly can’t make a prediction on this. It could go either way. If Rua from the Coleman fight shows up, Lyoto in Rd1!! If Rua from Pride shows up, who the hell knows! BAM, POW

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Hopefully Rua will not chase machida the whole time or it will probably be a short night like the thiago fight. If rua picks his spots well and is in good shape he can be more than a handful for the new champ.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    This is assuming shogun can even get Machida to the ground.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I honestly think that with the two of them being former training partners, Rua is going to have the best chance at defeating Lyoto.

    Feel free to flame me for this one, but I’m honestly thinking that a redefined, improved Tito Ortiz may be able to beat him. Give him a few fights, let him get back in the groove and feel it, and I bet he could do it. He’s already went the distance with him once. With a better back and an awesome camp, he may just be the one to do it. He has a LONG row to hoe before he even gets considered for a shot though.

    I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, if Rua from Pride is back, we’re going to have ourselves one electrifying & exciting champ!

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    rua was definatly a good choice, he my have seen some traits he can exploit, and we all know he has more than enough power to stop anybody. I really did enjoy the Tito fight with machida but except for the triangle attempt Tito really got thrown around. If he comes in and wins a few fights and looks good doing it I would give him as good a chance as most at 205.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    I think Shogun is going to take this fight and shock everyone. I really believe he has his cardio in check and will look like the Shogun of old. Shogun by TKO round 3. I can’t wait for this fight. This card is starting to get stacked.

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  • s00nertp says:

    All this analysis… now I cant wait for this fight.

    Luckily I’ve got ufc101, Carano vs Cyborg and hopefully news about Fedor vs someone very soon.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    I’m with you s00ner- I can’t take the waiting. I was looking forward to Trilogy to break up the time. At least we get UFC 101 Saturday and WEC on Sunday night. IMO the best p4p fighter Miguel Torres against Brian Bowles is going to be a hell of a fight.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    nothing in the ufc shocks me anymors, after serra gsp that is.
    Kapmann vs swick will be cool, and seeing trigg beat koscheck would be great.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one going for Trigg. I am not a fan of Koscheck at all. I’m in the middle about Kampmann and Swick. I don’t care who wins because I like them both and would not be disappointed either way.

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  • Patrickk says:

    Whoever is talking Shogun up to be this beast…please explain where you came up with that info from?

    Okay, so when he was overseas fighting he was pretty darn good.

    But let’s talk UFC stats…absolutely not impressive.

    His best fight comes against an aging Chuck Liddell, and all of a sudden this guy is back to his normal ways?

    Yeah right! I say Rua will get knocked out in the 2nd period, if not the first.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I see more of a chance for shogun, and as ozz pointed out earlier shogun has trained with Machida and at least knows what to expect.

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  • Hitman Hartnell says:

    I agree about Trigg. He talks some trash but hes really a class act.

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  • Hitman Hartnell says:

    And as for shogun, just look at frank mir. He comes back from his accident and looked like balls for a long time. next thing you know hes finishing nog for the interim belt. I know shogun wasnt in a bike crash but he needed multiple surguries. Im pretty confident hes gonna have a long UFC career.

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  • mu_shin says:

    The reason I think Machida will overcome Shogun Rua is the arc of progress he has demonstrated in his career. Since the BJ Penn fight, Machida has come much further in the evolution of his defensive instincts, and has crystallized his counterpunching strategies, as well as continuing to augment every aspect of his game.

    Rua has legions of fans, and rightly so, as he stomped his way to many hard fought victories in Pride, and knocked out an iconic fighter in the UFC when he defeated Chuck Liddell. Subsequent to his well publicised multiple knee surgeries, what I have not seen from Shogun is a commensurate development of new and different strategies and tactics to maximize his potential for future success in the UFC, where stomps and head kicks are no longer allowed.

    His knockout of Liddell was impressive, but to win a fight with Lyoto Machida, I think Shogun will have to take his conditioning to new levels, and demonstrate a willingness to explore all avenues toward ultimate victory. I thought his comments on Machida’s ground game were indicative of personal knowledge of the champion’s strengths. I think it’s also worth remembering that Tito didn’t release the triangle, Machida found a way to escape…

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I belive Tito went for an arm bar instead fo holding the triangle, at least thats what he said after the fight.

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  • jasonah says:

    I know shogun has some fans, But since he has came to the U.F.C he does not look like a super human wrecking machine.Got ran over by Forrest griffin,Barely beat an old man,That fight should been Called “Out of Gas”.And hit, now Aluminum Chinned Chuck Liddell with a shot, that anyone would have seen coming from a mile away.And he has a Title shot?He’s going to be ready for Shogun’s Muay thai,Anderson Silva is his Training partner.and as far as the ground goes,Big nog is also his training Partner.As far as wrestling goes he was tossing around Tito.If Anderson Silva Belives it Machida’s time, that mean’s.he knows what Machida has to offer.This team mate Vs team mate has to happen there are to many top contenders coming from the same camps.what the hell is the Difference? Best Friends fight when they Drink,someone wins and someone loses but your still friends.

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  • Grappo says:

    mu_shin – “I think it’s also worth remembering that Tito didn’t release the triangle, Machida found a way to escape…”

    Also good to remember that a submission attempt from Tito Ortiz is probably not something Machida (or any other fighter in the world) would have expected. I don’t think a submission attempt from Shogun would come as any surprise to Machida, and he won’t be leaving himself open for it.

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  • shotokai_ says:

    I’m struggling to see how Rua wins this fight. He isn’t going to get Machida to the ground, he can forget that. I agree with mu_shin I think these comments imply that Rua knows Machida has a strong ground game – possibly stronger than his. I don’t see him getting inside. Rashad and Thiago got nowhere close and, although it can be argued that Rua’s stand up is more advanced, I have seen nothing from Machida to suggest that he is going to stand still and let Machida march forward towards him; as Rua likes to do. Finally I believe Rua’s victory of Liddell was more indicative of an aging, slowing Iceman, with now questionable boxing defense, rather than a renovated and deadly Shogun. That fight answered little about Rua’s cardio over three rounds, nevermind five. And if his previous two fights are anything to go by this is going to be a very tough night for him.
    Machida via TKO, Round Two.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Mu_shin, that was a great post. I agree with everything about Rua. He seriously HAS to reach new heighths with his game. You gotta admit though, a Pride Rua is a downright badass Rua!

    jasonah, look at alot of the guys that came over from Pride. They all have had a tough time adjusting. However, I do see Rua coming in with a lot of steam and having a GREAT chance to make something happen.

    Grappo, you hit nail on the head.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    Whoever is talking Shogun up to be this beast…please explain where you came up with that info from? Okay, so when he was overseas fighting he was pretty darn good. But let’s talk UFC stats…absolutely not impressive.
    Patrickk- did you even watch MMA before you started posting last week? Shogun was the #1 ranked light heavyweight in the world before he came to the UFC! That’s where I came up with that. I’d call that pretty darn good. Obviously he looked bad in his first 2 fights and I don’t deny that at all. I’d like to see anyone look impressive with a torn acl. The Coleman fight…. no excuse for that though. Patrickk go on sherdog.com and look at his record and who he fought. Then go on youtube and look up some of his fights and you’ll see what a badass he can be. The UFC is not the be all end all of MMA, other organizations do (did) exist.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Shogun was a beast years ago, but as we have seen time and tima again when great fighters come in to the ufc and lose it is very hard for them to reach the same heights. Weve seen it with Wanderlei, Henderson(though he looks to be back to form now), cro cop. Out of the former pride fighters though i would say rua has the most potential to be great again.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    I know it was years ago, all I was saying is you can’t deny that he used to be a monster. And you’re right, he definitely has the potential to be great again

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    HEY!! We’ll have no bad mouthing of Wanderlei on here! LOL, kidding….. maybe.

    I have no clue if he is going to beat Machida or not. As I’ve said in a previous post, you never know WHICH Machida you’re fighting. I also know that Rua has never fought the same fight / way twice since coming in the octagon either.

    I do give him more of a chance than anybody else though.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    this is another one of thoes fights where I really like both fighters,and either way iam going to enjoy/ feel bad after the fight.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I can’t say I’ll feel bad. I never really have been a fan of Machida. That’s NOT saing I don’t respect him though. The guy is awesome. I just don’t personally care for him. Either way it’s guaranteed to be exciting

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    On paper Machida should take this, but I just have a gut feeling Shogun will pull it off. I can’t explain it. It wouldn’t be a major upset though. Shogun does have the skills to do it.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I like and respect both fighters you all know that feeling when you see both guys you really root for have to fight. Randy vs minotuaro is another good example, I really dont ever want to see either one of them lose.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Back to the shogun machida fight I dont see it even making it to the ground, machidas defense is so good.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    The Machida/Rua fight is one for the fans; Rua isn’t a contender. He just isn’t the same guy that he was in Pride. Meanwhile, Machida has exploded. I can remember the posts on this site several fights back criticizing him because of his elusive, non-brawling style. And then he ko’d Silva, and then Evans. He’s going to pick Rua apart and then deliver the killing stroke.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    It all depends on how close to form Rua comes in at. He destroyed some great fighters, and i think he still has it in him to do that again. With his all around skill and crazy kicks that could catch anybody. Looking at Machida it looks like it will take a lucky punch or kick to beat the guy.

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  • Shogun is such an X factor in this fight.

    Are we getting the Shogun that took on Griffin and Coleman or are we getting the Pride Shogun that we saw glimpses of in the Liddell fight?

    Yes, Liddell has lost a step or two but Shogun looked absolutely dominating in that fight.

    I hope Shogun comes out full force, this’ll be a fight for the ages.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    If we see a very well prepaired Shogun vs Machida it could be a war no doubt. It sucks when formerly great fighters have questions like it seems Shogun has now. Questions about conditioning, motivation etc.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    I am a huge fan of Shogun, always have been, but to me there is no excuse for gassing in a fight. I mean, this is what you do for a living, how could you not take it seriously? It’s almost like a sign of disrespect to me. Like you don’t respect the fans, your opponent, or this sport enough to train properly. In my opinion he has taken care of this and will be in top form. That’s just a gut feeling I have. I’m not training with the guy every day so I don’t have any facts to back this up.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Bad timing and off topic, but have you guys heard that Josh Thomson might be off the Strikeforce card as well? I guess his broken leg isn’t fully healed…..?

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I’d expect a new thread in the next half hour or so. I guess until then…. What do you guys think? This is just getting crazy now!

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Jstew3785, angry mike, sergio, edub, ANYONE? This has already been a chaotic last week for MMA….. I don’t know how much more I can take

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Last weeks insanity seems to have rubbed off on this week, really anything can happen right now.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    So Dana White has found the Genie and made two of his 3 wishes. Dream is F****d next.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    No Dream isnt any threat, he is going to wish shit I dont know he has almost everything.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I havent had the chance to watch any of the Sengoku fights yet, but Dream puts on a pretty good show. But have you guys ever noticed how often during the event the camera cuts to the ring announcer?

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    They need to do that for Buffer, LOL

    He keeps getting cut AWAY from!

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Even in the middle of a fight,like the old pride show on FSN, Dream will cut to the announcer. I dont know how important he is to the company but thats weird.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    @Oz

    I only recently switched from Comcast to one of the satellite companies, and the sole reason I did it was to get HDNet. Basically, I’m playing catch up with the Dream org. I’ve watched pretty much everything that HDNet has aired since June and have really enjoyed the fights, even though I prefer the cage and think elbows to the head should be allowed.

    I get the impression that Dream focuses primarily on the Asian market, and especially Japan. I have no idea whether it’s successful in that market. I doubt that it’s a competitor with UFC because the orgs’ markets may not overlap very much. I suppose that if UFC wants world domination, it would like to see Dream fail, but its failure may not affect UFC.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Dana has been talking a lot lately about bringing the ufc back to Japan. Thats one of the new goals for the company. I just got hdnet also Angry mike- about two days before the superhulk tournament began. It is a treu mma fans channel.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Personally, I think we need a few promotions, at least. Not necissarily to compete with the UFC, but to have a few options for fighters out there.

    I get the UFC wants the best of the best. However, there WILL come a time when you either have to run 2 events a month, or, an idea I like better, 10 – 12 fight main cards!

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    More fights on the main card would be great, if they buy 3 hours of ppv time and only use 2 and a half it sucks for us. They should buy 4 hours and give us all the fights. I am sure selling the undercard fights on there website get some money, but adding more couldnt hurt.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Speaking of getting the best fighters how much trimming of the current roster do you think will happen in the following weeks? one of the guys in real trouble I think would be Mac Danzig lost 3 in a row.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I don’t envy the leadership in that organization. They have a tough job. Danzig really does need to go. I’m surprised the kept houston alexander, but hopefully he comes back a bit more reinvented. They are going to have to trim more if they want to fit more quality in.

    Tim Credeur live about 5 minutes from me in Breaux Bridge. I”M PISSED HE HASN”T BEEN ON A CARD YET!! The guy is absolutely SICK on the ground.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Credeur is a very game fighter and fun to watch. One guy they got rid of that surprised me was Jason Macdonald,a very game fighter and good all around. His fight withMaia was great. Houston sticks around because the casual fan likes big punchers like that guy, and the ufc wants to cash in on that. The guy has not a lot of skill on the ground.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    There’s the main part of the problem.

    TUF is bullshit. “ONE fighter getting the 6 figure deal……”

    Whatever. They should just say “as long as you finish in the top 4 or 5, we’ll give you a fight. If you win, they don’t cut you, they keep you.

    Thats what’s going on.

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