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Mauricio Rua: “I’m ready to face him on the ground.”

Mauricio Rua: “I’m ready to face him on the ground.”

When assessing this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 26 tilt between Mauricio Rua and Chael Sonnen the contrast of styles is pretty obvious. Rua has claimed 18 of his 21 total victories by way of TKO, while Sonnen is a hard-nosed grappler with a ton of decisions to his credit.

While Sonnen’s ability to contend with Rua’s stand-up is sketchy at best, “Shogun” believes the opposite will be true when it comes to the ground game if on the wrong end of a takedown attempt. The beloved Brazilian recently spoke to MMAFighting about his preparation for Saturday night’s showdown, stating he used some unexpected extra time to fine tune his attack.

“It helped me a bit,” said Rua of the way in which the clash came around. “I had more time to work on his game. If I didn’t have this time I would only have had 10 days until the fight.”

Rua was originally scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira a few months back before a last-minute injury took “Minotoro” out of the match-up. As such, “Shogun” is understandably itching for action.

“I want to fight,” summated the anxious striker. “With TRT or not, I will get there to do my job and will get the win. I’ve worked a lot on my jiu-jitsu with Roberto Gordo, and I’m ready to face him on the ground. But the fight starts standing, and that’s where I like to fight. I’m going to fight and won’t miss opportunities.”

Adding fuel to the fire, the 21-7 Rua fell on the scorecards to top contender Alexander Gustafsson the last time he took to the Octagon. In Sonnen he will see a 27-13-1 former title-contender coming off a loss of his own to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Fans can catch their fight on FOX Sports 1 in the evening’s headlining slot.