UFC light heavyweight Chael Sonnen hasn’t always had the nicest things to say about fighters from Brazil or the country’s people in general for that matter. However, Sonnen’s opinion of UFC on FOX 8 opponent Mauricio Rua is far from those he’s offered up aimed at peers like Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, and Anderson Silva.
Sonnen addressed “Shogun” in a recent interview with 98.5 in Boston, admitting he actually looked up to Rua and considered him to be one of the sport’s all-time greats.
“Rua seems like a really great guy. He’s one of the few legends that are still fighting. Anytime you get old, there’s been an instant assignment of legend status,” stated Sonnen. “He truly is a legend. I admire him, I admire what he’s done in the right. He’s good; he’s not me, but he is very good.”
The 36-year old Sonnen may respect Rua, but he won’t offer him an ounce of it when they battle in Boston. Sonnen (27-13-1) will be seeking his first win since a January 2012 outpointing of Michael Bisping when the cage door closes on July 27, while Rua is 21-5 including finishes of Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, and Lyoto Machida.