While clearly “Shogun” Rua has had plenty of success since he arrived in the UFC, after all, the man did win the light-heavyweight title, the vet has not been able to showcase all of the skills that made him a star in PRIDE. Sure, some would argue Rua’s game is different now because he’s not 25 any longer, but it’s also because you can’t brutalize the opposition with soccer kicks and head stomps…
Recently not only did the 32 year-old relay that the Unified Rules have impacted his career, but that in Rua’s opinion, they’re not even safer as many people claim (comments via MMA Junkie.com):
“For sure, the new rules hinder me,” Rua said. “I think that the rule set from when I fought in Japan was safer than today’s rules. Elbows hurt a lot more than stomps. I had adapted to their rules. So when I came to the UFC, to get comfortable, it took some time. And, truthfully, my fight style relied greatly on stomps and soccer kicks. So to me, the greatest minus when coming to the UFC was the change in rules.”
There’s no question that soccer kicks and stomps, as well as knees to the head of a grounded opponent, opens up a completely different world of fighting. Although most pundits believe that the Unified Rules are here to stay, there are certainly plenty of old school fans and observers who would like to see some changes.
“I hope that one day, the UFC can legalize foot stomps and soccer kicks,” Rua said. “It would be great. I miss it. During the PRIDE era, I have no recollection of anyone getting hurt badly from stomps or soccer kicks. Elbows, in truth, really do hurt an opponent.”
Of course, if you want to watch more PRIDE like fights then there’s always ONE FC.
Rules aside, Rua has a massive fight right around the corner, as he’ll take on James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33 on December 7th. “Shogun” is looking to end the first two fight losing streak of his career, and a loss to Te Huna would be a huge setback. It should be an interesting bout. The only men to beat Te Huna in 7 UFC fights are Glover Teixeira and Alexander Gustafsson.